Do You Know Where Your Boobs Are?

Breast Cancer Awareness

Okay, so you probably know where they are, or at least where they used to be, or where you wish they were. I, for one, know that my boobs are now a heck of a lot lower than they were before kids. Whether we love them or covet someone elses, we all are very clear on where they are.

But do you know what your breasts feel like? Do you know what they look like without a bra covering them? More important, would you know if something changed?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I know, I know, we are all aware of breast cancer. We are all familiar with the pink ribbon and the fundraising events across the country. Most of us know someone that has been affected by this disease. Sadly, some of us have lost people close to us. And yet very few people ever think it will ever happen to them.

The fact is that one in nine women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. In 2010 alone, an estimated 23,000 women will be diagnosed in Canada. These are the facts but there is good news, I swear! The good news is that breast cancer is being detected earlier and earlier every year. The earlier its diagnosed, the easier it is to treat and survival rates are higher than ever before. That's not just good news, that's fantastic news. The trick is to find it early. But how do you find it?

If you know what your breasts look and feel like normally, you'll notice any changes. And hopefully, if you notice a change, you will talk to your doctor about it. Remember - 80% of abnormalities detected turn out to be benign, or non-cancerous. Yes, it's a scary thing to think about being in the other 20%, but if it does turn out to be cancer isn’t it better to catch it as early as possible?

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, BC/Yukon Region recently launched “Don't Forget to Check”, a campaign to help young women be more aware of their bodies. You can take a pledge to check your breasts, you can take a breast health quiz and you can Boob Bomb photos of yourself and your friends on Facebook. They do NOT command that you do the monthly breast exams we used to hear about, moving the “fourth finger on your hand in concentric circles”, making checking your breasts more of a chore than anything else. The message today is just to get to know your body.

The bottom line is, if you see or feel a change, talk to your doctor. Go check yourself out right now, in the mirror, in the shower, wherever. Your boobs will thank you for it and you might just save your life.

Gillian Behnke is a mom of two - a three year old boy and a one year old girl. She blogs at Finding My Weigh, where she writes about motherhood and her journey to get healthy (she recently lost 70lbs). Gillian is also the marketing manager for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, BC/Yukon Region.