Why do women skip their breast self examinations?
Boobies, Titties, Hooters, Knockers – all words used for the breast. In social media news these days we have social battles around norms such as nursing in public and celebrating shirts off day. So obviously we are talking about a revered part of the female anatomy. Early detection is so important that every MD has tips and tricks for getting it done when it comes to self examination posted throughout their offices. So why are women not protecting themselves if early detection is the key. Do any of these sound familiar to you:
- I forget.
- I barely get time to wash my hair in the shower.
- What if my kids/spouse/bf/dog walked in?
- I am not really sure what I am feeling around for.
- It feels dirty to me.
Why Women Don’t Do Self-Examination
When we look at the reasons why women don’t do a monthly breast self exam for themselves versus the benefit of early detection; the cost benefit is astounding. Come on ladies let’s call these reasons what they really are – excuses. When we look at the drivers of these excuses they come down to early in grained notions about feeling that touching ourselves is dirty, not setting up boundaries about our right to time for self-care and of course these both are linked to the overall reason which is fear. Fear that we are not doing it right; what someone might think; we might have to have an uncomfortable conversation with our spouse, child, doctor; or the very worst fear that you may find something and have to take action for your health.
Reasons to Get Past the Fear
The following statistics are reported on the website breastcancer.org:
- About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- 20% of all breast cancers are not found mammographically
- In 2015, an estimated 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 60,290 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer
The most effective means of reducing fatalities is early detection. End of story. Since most women only see their OB/GYN once a year and many don’t see their General Practitioner unless they are deathly ill. Self examination is imperative. So in order to be there for your spouse/child/dog and for yourself, if you need to install a new lock on the bathroom door, ask your doctor for a lesson, or just get past the negative feelings you have attached to self-exploration. Whatever is keeping you from this important part of self-care do it for yourself. Because you are worth it.
For more information about breast cancer, self examination and treatment visit www.breastcancer.org.
My special gift to you is a link to a free shower card that you can print and keep in your bathroom.
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The Passion Professor