National Mammography Day is annually on the 3rd Friday in October as part of National #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth. If you are already a reader you know I lost my mom to Breast Cancer back in 2010. If you are new my mother was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer at 35 and passed away a month shy of her 51st birthday. The cancer had spread to the lungs and then the bone, ultimately taking her life.
My mother was the life of every party. She was known to many as the "mayor of Marlboro" because she knew everyone and everything about most of their families. She had the biggest heart and cared deeply for others; usually putting them before herself.
When she was first diagnosed only family and select friends knew about the diagnosis and she kept it that way for many years. Only in the last few years did peers, colleagues, and others find out the battle she was facing. Never once did she want pity, or ask for help. When I think of strong and hero I think of my mother and the woman who she was. I hope to be half as brave and strong as her as I grow up.
Her doctor made her a promise and my sister and I only found this out right after she passed away; he would get her through two high school and one college graduations and you know what, that is exactly what happened. She missed my sisters college graduation by one year. She will miss our weddings, watching her grandchildren grow up, and all those special occasions in person, but she is always with us and will be there in spirit.
OK, now that I shared all that I want to share the main reason of this post. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Today, the 3rd Friday in October is National Mammography Day. If you saw on Instagram or Snapchat a few weeks ago I went for my annual Mammography. I am 29 years old. Aren't I too young? The answer is NO. Because cancer knows no age.
My family history makes me at high risk for Breast Cancer. Here are a few facts from the American Cancer Society website.
- "Having a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with breast cancer about doubles a woman's risk. Having 2 first-degree relatives increases her risk about 3-fold"
- My mother was diagnosed at 35
- My mother's mother, my maternal grandmother was diagnosed at 75
- "In the United States, BRCA mutations are more common in Jewish people of Ashkenazi (Eastern Europe) origin than in other racial and ethnic groups, but they can occur in anyone."
Here is a link as well for more information about Breast Cancer screening for women at high risk.
Do you know your family history? Have you been screened? Both men and women need to talk about it and get screened.
I am happy to say that mine came back clean. I will continue to go every year and give myself self-checks.