“Cancer can touch you, but not your soul; neither your thoughts, nor your heart,” Vikrmn. 

We have heard from two brave and beautiful breast cancer survivors this month, both who attributed their recoveries to early detection. Whenever you speak with a breast cancer survivor, in fact, most will urge others to get checked early and often. 

Women are encouraged to begin receiving an annual mammogram by the age of 40, though those with higher risk factors such as family history may choose to have the procedure done earlier.

According to the Susan G. Komen website, though men are at less risk, some may choose to be examined as well. Mammograms are usually only recommended for men who are at higher risk due to an inherited gene mutation or strong family history of breast cancer.

Men who are at a higher risk should also be aware of the warning signs of breast cancer, which can be the same for women—the presence of a painless lump, change in the size or shape of the breast, dimpling or redness of the skin of the breast, itchy or scaly rash on the nipple, or nipple discharge. 

Regular self-checks and clinical breast examinations are a great way to stay ahead of the problem, whether you’re male or female. Regular screening can help ensure breast cancer is found early, when chances for survival are the highest. 

This is why it is so important to take the time to get a yearly mammogram. Many women and even men fail to get screened at the recommended time, perhaps because they feel the situation can’t happen to them, and maybe because they are afraid of the results. Don’t let fear or doubt hold you back from getting checked. We are in charge of our own bodies, and it is our own job to stay on top of our health and well-being. Remember your own self-worth, and take the time to be screened—if not for yourself, then for your loved ones who care for and support you.

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