If You See Something, Say Something (Thx Homeland Security... don't mind if we do)
Glad to see you back EOTS fam! We can’t believe it’s already August and hope you still have some vacation days left to splurge on a bit before Labor Day sneaks up on us :)
So every now and then we like to take a moment to check out developing research, recent studies or hot news topics. Sometimes we are even a bit proud when it’s a matter we've already covered in one of our very own blog posts or through one of our inspiring stories of survival right here within this network.
This is one of those times!
Just a few days ago Today.com was one of many online new sources that shared Sherrie Rhodes' story, a 37 year-old mom of three who discovered she had breast cancer, not by finding a lump, but by noticing a change in the appearance of her breast. In Sherrie's case this came in the form of a dimpling which a biopsy soon confirmed that was indeed breast cancer. To educate fellow women on this type of find Sherrie took to her Facebook page (see her original post above) to share her experience -- and fortunately writers like Jess Wisloski of Today and many others shared it with an even greater audience.
We cannot emphasize enough how GREAT we think it is that women are spreading the word about breast cancer’s lesser known symptoms.
And Sherrie even credited fellow braves for putting her wise, too. "If I hadn't seen a post like this previously I wouldn't have known that this dimpling was a sign of cancer. Please share and raise awareness."
And after Sherrie's post went viral, other women credited her for leading them toward their own early stage breast cancer discovery. As we all know finding breast cancer early can make a huge difference in the battle, journey and likelihood of survival so this chain reaction buzz is definitely a good thing!
Similar to Sherrie, last year right here at Eye on Strength we introduced you to our EOTS sister Corey Ayala-Fagundez who noticed a change in the appearance of her breast, went for a mammogram and soon found out she had breast cancer. For Corey, her appearance change was linked to inflammatory breast cancer which is a rare but aggressive form in which signs can include pitting (or dimpling) of the skin of the breast as well as nipple inversion. Sandra Charlap is another one of our EOTS sisters who we featured last year. Sandra was also diagnosed just weeks after noticing a change in the appearance of her breast. For Sandra, her nipple looked inverted.
We do not know which form of breast cancer Sherrie has but in either case, we see the importance of monitoring any and all changes we see in our breasts.
And right in line with this, we've also emphasized our belief that the easiest and most potentially life-saving approach to start with in the fight against breast cancer is a self-exam – and not just using your hands but your sight, too.
As we learned from Sherrie and Corey spotting a change can be just as important as feeling a lump.
And while organizations like the American Cancer Society don’t put too much stock into self-exams (encouraging women to rely more on mammograms and other such screening methods) the ACS does agree that we shouldn’t toss out exams altogether noting that despite the lack of support for self-exams as a screening method, “Still, all women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to a health care provider right away.”
Luckily for women like Sherrie, Corey and Sandra, that's exactly what they did.
We hope their stories leave you with eyes wide open and on the lookout for any and every change in the appearance of your breasts. Even something that seems small can be an indicator of something bigger.
We'll see you all later this month when we introduce our August survivor. Until then, keep your Eye on Strength!