Pink Facts | Common Sense Always Prevails

08Mar10

I’m proud to announce a new Pink Initiative blog series titled Pink Facts; a twice a month series written by Pink Initiative board member Megan Clouse, a California based photographer who in 2009 conquered breast cancer at the age of 37.

Topics will range from current breast cancer research, health, prevention, and at times a glimpse into what her journey entailed.  It’s our hope that you will gain more knowledge through these posts, be inspired to make a difference in your personal life and as always we encourage you to join the conversation via our comment section.

emilie

p.s.  We also invite you to watch for Megan’s Pink Facts every Monday at http://www.twitter.com/pinkinitiative

Common Sense Always Prevails
By Megan Clouse

We are reminded on a daily basis by a multitude of media outlets the importance of nutrition, exercise and how overall healthy practices can improve the quality of our lives.  So it came as quite a shock to most everyone when the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force dropped their report stating some very counterintuitive statements.

The first topic was mammography; suggesting that age 50 was a more likely baseline age than the earlier suggested 40.  I’ve heard arguments on both sides and frankly I can appreciate both points of view so I’m leaving this topic up to the experts, however I do feel strongly about the next topic in the report; self-exams.

As a woman who discovered a lump through self-exams I was aghast when the claims started to surface that self-exams don’t necessarily save lives.  That is ludicrous!

My lump was smaller than a pea.  After bringing it to my doctor’s attention, she had no reason to be concerned but ordered a mammogram just to be sure; a mammogram that detected nothing abnormal; what they call a false negative.  To no fault of the machine or technicians, the small tumor was situated in a near impossible location for diagnosis.  Which leads me back to self-exams.

If I had not become familiar with my breast tissue during all of those years of mundane self-exams, I would not have noticed this new foreign object.  But because I did, this brief exam very well may have saved my life because it’s likely that the cancer would not have been detected for another year or two, until it had spread throughout my body.

So when reports come out that red wine is good and eggs are bad, or when self-exams aren’t really that important, please use common sense.  Know your body, be your own advocate and listen to your hunches.

Breast Self-Exam Diagram

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