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“It must run in your family”

“It must run in your family”

“It must run in your family.”

That statement has been made to me more times than I can count.

When breast cancer strikes someone under the age of 40, people automatically think it is due to a genetic reason. This is simply not true; I along with a lot of other women am proof of that.

It took me awhile to realize that people were saying that to make themselves feel better, because if it runs in my family and it doesn’t run in theirs then they are safe.   My response to that is it has to start somewhere. Even for the people that it does run in their family, at some point, it did not. There was someone who was diagnosed FIRST. Every woman needs to be proactive about their breast health, no matter their age or how rampant the disease runs or doesn’t run in your family.

I always tell women, “know your breasts.” What I mean by that is know all your lumps and bumps, don’t assume a lump is cancer but also, don’t ignore it. Bring it to your doctor’s attention immediately.

Don’t wait until your yearly exam and just figure you will mention it at that time. That is valuable time you are possibly wasting. Most of the time, it’s a cyst or fibroid tumor (fibrosis), two things that are not going to harm you; however, this can only be determined by a doctor. I cannot say it enough; early detection can literally be the difference between life and death.

No matter how many stories you hear about breast cancer affecting young, healthy women, people are still refusing to think it can happen to them. Unfortunately, as you read this, a woman somewhere, possibly in your town, is getting a phone call that will change her life forever. Anyone with breasts is at risk, so, that means anyone reading this, no matter their age or gender has a chance of developing breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. Of course some people have a higher risk due to genetics; however none of us are exempt.

As the saying goes, “ignorance is bliss;” sure it is, but on the flip side of that, there is the saying “knowledge is power.” I would much rather have the power.

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Comments

2 Comments

  1. Great advice, as always, Jeannine. Being proactive about your breast health is essential!

  2. Great advice. Knowledge is power!

About the Author

Jeannine Canino Bieda
Jeannine Canino Bieda

Jeannine Canino Bieda has worked in the Options industry for the last 14 years and cannot imagine doing anything else; she enjoys all the craziness, the good, the bad & the ugly! She is a breast cancer survivor. She is married to the love of her life and does not have any children but hopefully that will change one day. She is a proud Southsider but lives in Evanston now because it’s where her husband is from; she learned quickly, you can take the girl out of the Southside but you can’t take the Southside out of the girl! She is highly addicted to reality shows & gossip magazines and is not ashamed of it.