I Love My Breasts!
Okay, this might sound a tad ridiculous, but I love my breasts! They have stuck it out with me through thick and thin (literally), and they are every bit a part of the woman I am. I think every woman is unique breast-wise, but I’ve never actually given much thought to my breasts, unless something important comes up. Like when they first started developing. Gosh, breasts are a big deal to adolescents – male and female. The girls either can’t wait to have their first real pair (given the fact that people have the choice of unreal ones), or are annoyed they’re one of the first in their class to have them. Boys are fascinated by them. And I don’t think that changes as their level of maturity grows. For me, my breasts are a strong indication about if everything’s going okay with me health-wise. Aside the periodic change in size and feel, they are pretty good at letting me know if I’m stressing myself etc.
Breasts, the foundation of humanity
Have we actually stopped to think about how important breasts are to the entire human race??? Before milk concentrates and what-not, breast-milk was the essential determinant in ensuring that a new babe actually lived. If the kid’s mother didn’t have enough breast milk, they would find a wet-nurse to ensure that the kid got all the delicious elements of nutrition that breast milk provides. I don’t know about you girls out there, but I’m definitely big on the ‘breast-feed’ your child thing. Besides, who wouldn’t want a chance to bond with their baby?
Breast Cancer Awareness
Now, breast cancer. The first time I encountered that term was in JSS 2 when a fellow school mate had a breast cancer scare. And boy, did that episode terrify the daylights out of me! Aside that, I didn’t really know that much about breast cancer, and I never really bothered. My mum insisted I do regular breast checks, and I would, but I never really understood why it was necessary. Fast forward to college, and the importance of breast checks more than doubled. Being an all women’s school, there was no shortage of info on breast cancer. Even then, I’d do the necessary checks, but still never quite grasped the enormity of the situation.
Final year in college, someone close to me has a breast cancer scare, and it takes on a whole new meaning. Luckily, this person found out about the issue early on, and alhamdulilahi, the worst has been averted. I’ve had the opportunity to work with the American Cancer Society in organizing their annual “We Can Weekend” at Mount Holyoke, and I must say, the resilience of the participants is amazing! October is breast cancer awareness month and there are a lot of things going on in this regard. There are some marathons, fundraising events and a whole bunch of other stuff.
Fundraising Effort: The Cool Runners Team
In support of this, I’d like to put in a plug for a former school mate, Maame Sampah, who’s participating in the Komen Maryland fundraising effort. Please support her goal to raise $2000 towards breast cancer research by going to her site: The Cool Runners Team . Cudos Maame, and keep it up!
How to do a Breast Self-Exam:
Here are two videos (one kind of funny) on how to do a self-exam. Might not be suitable for viewing at work or around kids.
Here are some quick facts from iVillage.com :
– Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women between the ages of 15 and 54, and the second cause of cancer death in women 55 to 74.
– Breast cancer can develop in men, but occurs at a much lower rate than in women. In 2008, nearly 1,990 new cases of breast cancer were to be diagnosed in men in the United States.
– Women with a mother, sister or daughter affected by breast cancer have a greater risk of developing the disease themselves. Certain genetic mutations, such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene also increase the risk.
Triple Negative Breast Cancer
CNN did an expose on an African-American doctor’s research in Ghana. Black women are twice as likely than white women to have breast cancer, and it might be even more fatal where African women are concerned. You can read the piece here.
Some other sites for information:
– Breast Care International
– National Breast Cancer Foundation
– Susan G.Komen
– Breast Cancer Campaign
We need to get the info out there, and ladies, please please please let’s do our monthly self-exams. Gentlemen, I’m sure there’s at least one special woman in your life. Please get the information to her. Prevention IS better than cure!
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.