A Touchy Subject
To the Editor:
Dear women of Newtown,
As you make your New Year’s resolutions, I would like to recommend to you a resolution that may save your life. Resolve to do a monthly self breast exam (SBE).
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump.” Many primary care providers and gynecologists, however, no longer instruct women to do a SBE, due to the number of potentially costly, uncomfortable, and often unnecessary follow up procedures. Mammograms and breast ultrasounds are valuable screening tests; however, they do not detect all breast cancers. You know your body better than a machine.
If you are unsure about how to perform a SBE, talk to your health care provider. Another excellent resource is the National Breast Cancer Organization’s website.
Teach your daughters to get in the healthy habit of doing self breast exams, also. You may be the only person who will.
Although breast cancer screening and a self breast exam cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat.
I would like to wish you a healthy New Year, but when it comes to your health, good wishes are powerless. You must be proactive about your health.
Jennifer Ober, APRN and breast cancer survivor
8 Westwood Terrace, Newtown January 4, 2019
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