This is a sponsored post in partnership with Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this year I was overdue for my Mammogram. Shame on me. I get one every year, especially since I am forty-six-years-old and there is breast cancer in my family. My Aunt had breast cancer on my father’s side and a my mother’s aunt died from breast cancer. My mother also had something removed from her breast. Although, I have been diligent about getting exams, this year I fell behind. Since having kids it’s been so hard to schedule anything for my self care.
So, last month I was reminded how important it is when I ran into an old acquaintance with her kid, who played with my kids at the YMCA years ago. I was shocked and saddened to hear that she had stage 4 breast cancer. But she was okay and smiling. Our kids carried on playing but I walked away with a heavy heart that day.
It was just a reminder of how we need to educate each other on breast cancer risk and the steps mothers and daughters need to take to reduce their risk. One of these ways is through research-based information such as the BCERP. Scientists, physicians, and community partners in the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), which is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), study the effects of environmental exposures on breast cancer risk later in life. They have come up with a mother-daughter toolkit mothers can use to talk to daughters about steps to take together to reduce risk.
I wish I had been more educated about breast cancer and talked to more women about the risks. Now I can do that and know that part of the risk is being complacent. I need to prioritize self-care no matter what.
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