Breast Cancer: How to Protect Yourself

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JoAnn Parnell, Badger mother and breast cancer survivor poses with her chemo port. Photo By Emily Parnell.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, making it a great time for Badgers to learn about protecting themselves.  Over 40,000 women and 500 men die of breast cancer each year.  Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women.  That statistic is “staggering and frightening” according to Snow College student Hilaria Delgado.  While yearly mammograms are not suggested until the age of 40, there are things students can do now to protect themselves and prepare for 40.  

Before starting to get mammograms, women can do self checks.  According to City of Hope, Breast Cancer Research Center, some things to look for are, “feeling a lump, drastic change in breast size or shape, nipple bleeding, rash on the breast, and swollen breast.”  If any of these show up, seeing a doctor quickly is the best way to find out what’s going on.  

Early detection is the best defense against most types of cancer.  When asked about her experience, Snow College mom JoAnn Parnell who is a breast cancer survivor said, “ Cancer treatment stinks.  I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  It changed my life and my family’s lives forever.  I found my cancer pretty quickly and I still wish I found it quicker.  Checking in with your body and communicating with and advocating for yourself with your doctor is the best thing you can do for yourself.” 

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