As college students, we’re constantly running. Running to get that last math problem done or paper written, running to pick up groceries or running around to our different extracurricular activities. Sometimes the last thing we think about is our health- especially if something doesn’t pose as an immediate danger to us.
Getting checked for breast cancer is one of the last to-dos on our never-ending lists, but it’s time to move it up a notch. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it couldn’t make for a better time to determine your risk of developing breast cancer.
According to Dr. Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women & Families, as a woman in your 20s, you shouldn’t be extremely concerned or worried. Zuckerman said in an interview with Fox News that breast cancer in women younger than 30 years is rare even if her family has a history of breast cancer.
But just because it’s rare doesn’t mean it can’t happen. According to the Young Survival Coalition, 26 percent of breast cancer occurs in women between the ages of 15 to 39. These cases are generally more aggressive and have higher death rates.
Prevention is necessary at all ages for breast cancer. Though there is not a very accurate mammogram available to women under the age of 40, it’s important for young women to perform self-exams of their breasts and ask physicians to perform an exam during regular checkups. It’s IMPERATIVE that you also have good communication with your gynecologist about your level of concern about breast cancer and any risk factors you may have- especially if you have a family history.
For info on how to perform a breast self exam on yourself, follow this helpful online guide from the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
– By Kara Apel
*This month, you can make a difference simply by buying the perfect book for college. U Chic founder, Christie Garton, Sourcebooks, and the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund® have joined forces to make sure your purchase has an impact. Pick up U Chic: The College Girls Guide to Everything during the month of October (only from Sourcebooks.com), and you’ll receive 10% off your purchase and a percentage of the net proceeds will be donated to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund®.