As most of us who have pursued fertility treatments have heard, there are studies that aim to prove that long term use of hormonal medications can increase the rates of cancer among their users.
Now, as with anything, there are just as many studies proving that this is NOT the case, but let’s face facts here: We live in a world where cancer is extremely prevalent, and it behooves us all to be advocates for our health in every way possible.
Did you know that One in Eight women in the US will get breast cancer?
Those are the same odds as couples who suffer from infertility…
So, you know… It can and will happen to us or someone we know.
That little bit of information is basically a lead-in to tell you all that I freaked myself out recently, and thought I had found a lump in my breast.
I noticed during my last cycle that while I had the usual breast tenderness the last week or so of the month, it did not clear up after Aunt Flo left town as it typically does, and the tenderness that was left over was concentrated to one spot. Upon further inspection, I also noticed that there was a definite bulkiness to that small area that didn’t feel quite like the rest of my breast tissue.
I have to say that there is no history of breast cancer in my family, so I know that doctors wouldn’t exactly consider me high risk, but the use of so many different hormonal medications on top of the plethora of complete lifestyle changes I’ve made in the past few years is enough to cause at least minor concern.
Luckily, I was able to get in to see my wonderful OB-GYN, Dr. B., and he assured me that what he felt was very normal and not at all worrisome. Likely just a duct or gland structure that is slightly more dense than other areas around it, and possibly a fibrocystic area, which is quite common (and frequently due to caffeine consumption! Huh, you learn something new every day!).
Still though, it’s very important that we are all vigilant about our health, even while trying our damndest to procreate. Dr. B. recommends the usual annual exam, even when seeing a fertility specialist on the side, and he also recommends monthly breast self-exams.
We’ve all seen the little instructional cards being handed out at women’s health fairs and at our lady-parts doctor’s office, but do we really look at them?
I know I hadn’t. At least not until I was afraid that something was wrong…
And so, the girl who has literally zero experience with breast cancer, breast exams, mammograms, or pink “Save the Ta-tas” bumper stickers, is going to give you a quick tutorial (which I poached from good ol’ Pinterest) on breast cancer in general, and frisking your funbags for preventative medical purposes.
Because it’s important, that’s why.
Everybody got that?
Love your lady lumps, mmkay?
Love them monthly, and don’t hesitate to bring any concerns to your doctor, because as we all know (and as I repeat CONSTANTLY):
YOU ARE THE BEST ADVOCATE FOR YOUR HEALTH.