Breast cancer is a tender topic for some, for one out of every eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer and not all of them survive. Women as young as 22 have begun to end up with the same prognosis. It’s becoming more common for women under the age of 40 be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Amy Cleveland, now 28, was only 22 when she came across a lump in her breast. She told friends and family, and saw a doctor but was blown off by all because of her youth. About to become a bride and in the last year of college, she sought a second opinion and was glad she did. “You usually hear people talking about how their mother or grandmother has or had breast cancer, it’s hard to find someone my age that went through or is going through what I went through,” Cleveland said.
Now there are various symptoms of breast cancer. Swelling and lumps are the most widely known, but skin changes can also be a sign. Many breast cancers don’t give any obvious symptoms at all. It’s possible that even if you did find a lump or skin irritation that it’s just a cyst or infection. In order to be 100 percent positive you would have to go to a doctor and submit to several weeks of a variety of tests. Then there is the waiting period for results that can feel like a life time until that phone rings with the news. But if it turns out that you are diagnosed then you and your doctor can formulate a treatment plan tailored to you. There are 14 different types of cancer and each type of cancer has its own characteristics.
There are no exact proven theories as to the cause of cancer but there are some things you can do to lower your risk. Cutting back or completely eliminating alcohol intake and becoming more mindful of the chemicals used or added in household cleaners and cosmetics can help. It is also important to monitor the exposure to the amount of light you use when you are working in a dark space. A recent study has shown that more women have gotten cancer who work at night than those who work during the day.
Family history is important, too. Look back through your family tree to see if any relatives had cancer of any kind. If so, even if you currently do not have cancer, be very observant of your environment, diet, any changes in your body, and follow-up by having regular checkups with your doctor.
These things could be the difference between catching it soon like Cleveland or discovering it too late. She is cancer free now but continuously goes to check ups to make sure she stays that way. She is living proof that younger people are just as susceptible as women of more advanced ages to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
An exceptional website to go to, if you find yourself searching, is Breastcancer.org. It touches on several subjects such as how to live cleaner, or what to expect after you’ve been given the news of your prognosis. It has information about all the kinds of cancer, even how to lower your risk of getting it, as well as how to work out the best treatment plan with your doctor. It separates the myths about cancer from the facts and even caters to men with breast cancer. It lends advice about breaking the news to your family. The website is easy to navigate and simple to understand which helps both you and your loved ones.
Written by: KyAuna Alonzo