Breast self-exams can be uncomfortable and scary, but the alternative is even scarier.
Breast cancer is not ageist. According to the National Cancer Institute, women ages 15 to 34 and 35 to 54 die more frequently from breast cancer than any other cancer.
I have been blessed as a yoga teacher to support many women during breast cancer treatment and during recovery. In my early teaching career, Karen, a beautifully spirited 30-something mom of two would come to class wearing her headscarf during chemo and pour her heart and soul into the practice. “Yoga helped me see my body as a tool that needed healing. My body was sick, not me. Now, I had to keep my spirit and mind strong to heal it so I could be strong again, for my family and for my future.” Karen made a full recovery and continues to practice today. Her best advice is to maintain your monthly self-exams and get anything unusual checked out right away. Don’t let fear keep you from learning the truth about your health.
See the Breast Cancer Awareness site for simple instructions on self-examination with illustrations – http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam. If you find anything unusual, consult with your doctor. Empower yourself.
For the advocate in you, check out the Tigerlily Foundation. Founded by Maimo Karmo, a breast cancer survivor herself, this wonderful organization helps diagnosed women with the necessary resources along their journey to recovery. You can support Tigerlily at this year’s Pajama Glam event on November 9th at the Brooklyn Marriott, where I will be teaching a fun and inspiring yoga class or donate to this wonderful cause at http://tigerlilyfoundation.org/.