Today is St. Patrick’s Day and everyone will likely be thinking about luck and leprechauns. But as we all start to think about luck, it is important to remember being diagnosed with breast cancer isn’t a matter of good or bad luck.
According to the National Cancer Institute 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer within her lifetime. That ratio doesn’t distinguish the lucky from the cursed; it is just an unfortunate fact that awareness and proactivity can decrease.
Developing breast cancer is decreased by controllable risk factors such as diet and exercising and increased by inherent risks such as genetics and family history. Even if you do everything in your control to reduce your risks, such as keeping a healthy lifestyle and following a three-pronged approach, there is no guarantee you will always be cancer free.
Last summer Belfast Telegraph told the story of a 23-year-old woman who was diagnosed with incurable stage-four breast cancer. Kristin Hallenga didn’t consider herself unlucky or sulk she created an organization to help younger women learn about the signs and symptoms. Kristin produced a positive outcome from one of the worst events in her entire life. She is helping teach young adults that they cannot rely on luck and assume they are cancer free. The sooner we are aware of what we need to do to decrease are risks and catch cancer at it’s earliest stages, the better.
We hope you have a happy and healthy St. Patrick’s Day! Just remember luck has nothing to do with cancer. Take control of your life and health: do your monthly breast self-exam, get a yearly mammogram if you’re over 40, and lead a healthy lifestyle to help reduce your risk of breast cancer.