The American Cancer Society says one out of 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. At the moment, we do not know what to do to avoid developing breast cancer. We understand many things such as decreasing fat intake could possibly help, but we are not certain why the tremendous rise in the incidence ofbreast cancer. However, we do know that the earlier BC is detected, the easier it is to treat and the higher the cure rate. Breast cancer caught at a very early stage is virtually a curable disease.
There are three ways in which breast cancer is generally detected. They are a physician exam, mammogram, and breast self examination (BSE). All three should be used at appropriate intervals, but of the three, BSE is the easiest, most private, totally cost free, totally risk free and should be the most effective. It offers only rewards with no down side risk. The woman practicing BSE has the peace of mind knowing that there is no problem or she catches it at the earliest possible moment when it is the most treatable.
Why doesn’t every woman regularly do BSE? We believe there are three reasons. The woman does not want to find a problem. This is like an ostrich burying its head in the sand believing no one can see it. Once a woman has breast cancer, it isn’t going to go away by itself. Cancer, by its nature, keeps growing, multiplying geometrically. The earlier it is caught, the less drastic the treatments normally are. Early stage breast cancer can generally be treated with minor, non-disfiguring surgery possibly with non-debilitating adjuvent therapy.
Second, some women do not know how to do Breast Self Examination correctly and are too modest to ask anyone. Third, they forget. Once a month in the shower is all that is necessary, but it is all too easy to overlook.
The Cancer Hot Line (800-433-0464) in Kansas City came up with a project that they did the week of February 7, 1994. Each of you who want to help your fellow human being have a better quality of life can copy this project in your area. The Cancer Hot Line in Kansas City will be happy to help anyone doing this project. It costs nothing but some highly rewarding work.
They placed adhesive backed 4″ x 9″ BSE cards on the door inside women’s public toilets giving motivation and how-to instructions. These were placed throughout the metropolitan area in offices, restaurants, theaters, schools, sports arenas, airports, churches, etc. A printer donated the printing on paper donated by a paper house. High school senior girls installed them under the supervision of women from church groups with the assistance of a great deal of publicity from the media. The project was done with no cost to anyone, no opposition from anyone, and rewards to everyone!
It will not change the statistics on breast cancer dramatically, but it will cause a few women to have a better quality of life and live longer.