Did you know that according to the America Cancer Society, “Blacks have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial/ethnic group in the US for most cancers?” Why is this? After reading more information about this subject, I found that some of the reasons include lack of resources, wealth and income, access to early detection, treatment, and services. In addition, there is a lack of information in the Black community which doesn’t help as well. With this in mind, it is imperative that we keep track of our health and go to the doctor consistently.
We never think that certain things can happen to us, but they can. Anything can happen to us at any given time, especially when we least expect it. October is the designated month for Breast Cancer Awareness even though it doesn’t hurt to be informed as much as you can throughout the year. I can’t stress enough the importance of getting tested each and every year. There is so much power in early detection, but in order for that power to work, you must consistently get checked. Also, if breast cancer is present in your bloodline, it is even more crucial that you get checked each and every year. Did you know that men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer? This is not only a women’s thing; men are just as capable of having this diagnosis just like women are.
I’ll never forget the day my mom told me that she was diagnosed with Carcinoma in Situ. She explained that Carcinoma is cancer, and in Situ meant that the cancer was contained and had not invaded the breast. It was detected very early. It felt as if my whole world had just stopped, and nothing else mattered. I just stood there and looked at her speechless. To my surprise, she didn’t cry, and she wasn’t sad. In fact, she was upbeat and smiling. I didn’t understand it at first, but now I know that it was truly her faith and trust in God that allowed her to stay strong in spite of her situation. That night, I went back home and cried like a baby. I was scared, for I didn’t want her to go through what she was going to have to face. If anything, I wanted the burden for her, but God is a God of no mistakes. He knew my mom was strong enough to fight it. In order to help her through it, I had to rely on my own faith and to trust that God had a plan, and that everything was going to be okay. Faith is believing in the things unseen, and at times our faith is tested. How strong is your faith?
To make a long story short, my mom is free of cancer. They were able to detect it early because she routinely goes to get a mammogram, which allowed them to compare several years of scans. They noticed a difference between her last couple of scans. Now, imagine if she hadn’t gone for a test that year. Who knows what the outcome would have been. There is a lot of research on when women should start getting mammograms. If women are at risk for breast cancer, it is recommended that they start at the age of 40-45. If not, then the normal time frame is at the age of 50. In spite of what research says, women should constantly self-check themselves regularly by feeling around their breast area for any lumps.
My mother is literally my best friend. I look up to her, and I tell her everything. Without her, I don’t know what I’d do, or where I would be right now. I thank God that He has protected her and has kept her safe in His divine care.
The more we know, the better we can protect ourselves and detect if anything is wrong. We only get one body, and one life, so we have to take care of ourselves and each other.
“You can be a victim of cancer, or a survivor of cancer. It’s a mindset.”