I want to take a moment to tell you a bit about breast cancer. I'm only 18 years old, but recently I had a minor run-in with breast cancer. I went to my very first gynocoogyist appointment in September of 2007 and she felt a lump in my right breast. She recommended that I get a mamogram and an unltrasound. YES, the dreaded mamogram. Every woman dreads her yearly visit, but could you possibly image what it was like for me, this all being bundled into my very first visit? But to be honest, you should immediately schedule a visit for your gynocologist or a mamogram and/or ultrasound as soon as signs of brest lumps are detected. I had never been an avid practitioner of the monthly breast check and it surprised me that she felt something like that during my first visit! Since then, I've been sure to perform my monthly shower check, inspecting for lumps or any deformation in my breasts. This test is best done when you are lying down as your breast spreads out evenly and makes it easier for you to feel anything "unusual."
After my doctor found the lump in my right breast, I was sure to look into Breast Cancer factors. It turns out that even thought it can happen to both genders simply being a woman is one of the greatest risk factor of breast cancer. About 1 out of 8 invasive breast cancer diagnoses are among women younger than 45, while about 2 out of 3 women with invasive breast cancer are age 55 or older when they are diagnosed. When I found this out, I honestly got SUPER SCARED. Here I am 18 years old at the start of life with a lump in my chest and the statistics were already against me. My family doesn't even have a history of breast cancer! Which is another thing that can raise your chances. There was also the fact that African-American women are more likely to die of this cancer. At least part of this seems to be because African-American women tend to have more aggressive tumors.
I got my mamogram and the lump did not show up clearly. So for those that may not know it, you should honestly go for BOTH the mamogram AND the ultrasound because it was then that the lump appeared clearly. I was ordered to schedule an appointment with a Breast Specialist who would be able to read my ultrasounds and determine if I was at risk for breast cancer. It was then that I was diagnosed with a benign lump, which is common among African-American women. It is dormant and should not have to be forcably removed unless it begins to grow larger or starts giving me pain. So I should not need any surgery unless or until something negative begins to happen. So I have to go for another ultrasound come July, to compare the size of my benign lump with my earlier sizes to see if there has been any recent growth. I hope there will not be anything to report, there wasn't anything to say after my second ultrasound and hopefully it'll stay that way.
Hope my experience helps you become more informed about breast cancer and the things you should do as a women to help raise your awareness and protect yourself. Remember, the faster you react, the better your chances are of biting it off before it can become worst.