October is just around the corner (wait, when did that happen?!) and that means breast cancer awareness month is too! We’ve partnered up with the Know Your Lemons Foundation to provide education on keeping track of your breasts, as well as your cycle and how the two relate. We hope you enjoy and learn a tip or two...
Did you know your body has breast cycles? This is how your breasts change according to your menstrual cycle throughout the month. Knowing what changes are normal—and which changes are not—can help you better take charge of your health.
So what does a breast cycle look like?
The Know Your Lemons® app helps you track your period AND your breast cycle. This is important as 1-in-8 women will get breast cancer. But when it’s found early, survival rates are nearly 100%. How is it found early? By you doing regular self-checks now, and getting mammograms after age 40. You are the only one who can take the steps you need for early detection. Surprisingly, 85% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have NO family history, so we all need to be aware!
Do a self-check at the right time of your cycle.
The best time to do a self-check is a few days after your period ends. This is when your breasts are least affected by hormones and are more likely to be “normal.” The two weeks leading up to your next period is when hormones cause changes such as tenderness, swelling, and lumps that will eventually disappear as your cycle begins again. But if you have a lump that doesn’t come and go with your cycle but remains persistent, that’s when you know it’s time to have it looked at by a doctor. It’s often hard like a lemon seed, and immovable. It can be any shape or size. 80% of the time it’s a harmless cyst, but that can only be found out through testing, such as a mammogram or ultrasound. So don’t be afraid to report a lump, however...
A lump is NOT the only sign of breast cancer.
Did you know there are 12 symptoms of breast cancer? The Know Your Lemons® Foundation has produced a really easy graphic to teach you what to feel for AND look for. As part of their app they explain each symptom in detail, how to self-exam, and how to talk to your doctor if you do find something like this:
We are not taught about our breasts. Why?
In school we had sex ed classes and learned about ovaries, testicles, and vaginas. But when it came to breasts, NOTHING. The result? We know very little about our own bodies, and more women get diagnosed late. The Know Your Lemons Foundation® is hell-bent on changing that, first by educating you, and then through donations from lovely people like you, teach women and girls what each of us need to know to reduce our chances of dying from breast cancer.
Know someone who has had breast cancer? You can help!
There are a few ways you can help fight breast cancer. The first is easy, educate yourself and do regular self-checks with the Know Your Lemons app. Second, send them a donation so they can get this message out to more lovely people like you. Third, visit their site and volunteer to get trained as a breast health educator if it’s something you are passionate about (you can even do Zoom classes with your girlfriends!). There’s so much we can do to support each other. Let’s take care of ourselves, and make a difference for those around us who need these life saving messages.