How To Know If You Have Breast Cancer

The #1 Way To Know If You Have Breast Cancer 

Breast cancer and pink ribbons have become as much a part of the autumn landscape as football games and tailgating. For a lot of people, all that they know about breast cancer is that it happens to women and the pink ribbon is the way to show support. Unfortunately, that's not it. That's not even close to "it" when it comes to understanding this disease.

The #1 question I see or hear from people has to be... "How do I know if I have breast cancer?"... or some variation of that. I am in several breast cancer groups on social media... and it baffles me to see women who have NOT been diagnosed with anything, sitting in these groups feeding on the fears and tears of actual survivors.

Look... I'm not going to ever sugarcoat this journey or the difficulties it brings. However, I need people to stop looking for horribleness when it hasn't entered your life yet. The fears that these women (and some men) have about what they're going through with this disease are real. If you haven't been diagnosed with anything... the #1 way to know if you have breast cancer is...


Yeah... that's it. Stop joining Facebook groups for survivors, stop reading breast cancer message boards, stop all of that. Just stop. You are feeding a fear that doesn't need to live yet.

You don't have breast cancer until you're diagnosed with breast cancer - Stop claiming illness & negativity in your life

You need a mammogram and real tests that a qualified physician can give you. You don't need to sit in a space where people are looking for support from others who are going through the same traumatic experience or have gone through the same traumatic experience... because that isn't your journey yet.

I understand the fear. Lord knows I do. But come on y'all... stop. Literally... stop, change direction and go forward another way. Only walk through the doors that are for you and if you have NOT been diagnosed with breast cancer or you aren't supporting someone who is fighting breast cancer, those spaces may do you more harm than good.

Let me repeat it... you can find out whether or not you have breast cancer, by seeing your doctor and having a mammogram. There is a difference between being concerned about your health, doing regular breast self-exams to feel for lumps and changes... and sitting in a group of hundreds or thousands of women who are facing the darkest period of their lives and taking in their fears as your own.

Keep all things in perspective... even breast cancer. Especially in October. 1 in 8 women is expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer IN YOUR LIFETIME. That means in a time period that spans decades, you may encounter breast cancer a few times. It doesn't mean that every 8 women you know in your 20's or 30's or even your 40's will have the disease.

Things you can do that are positive: 

  • Learn more about the disease 
  • Support survivors - either personally or volunteer to help local organizations
  • Talk to survivors like they're people (and not just about their illness)
  • Do monthly self-exams and yearly mammograms
  • Relax... although a lot of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, most of the women you know will not

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