October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You may be seeing a lot of the color pink, said to create breast cancer awareness. But it is also the month which brings the topic of breast cancer awareness to the forefront of our lives. With the awareness is also the memory of my mother in law. “Mimi” visited us in the month of October to consult with M. D. Anderson about the possibility of treatment for breast cancer. It was her fourth such battle with it and the expected outcome was not a positive one. While we enjoyed every minute of that visit, as it was the first time she had every traveled to Houston, it was also bitter sweet. She left with the doctor’s advice to “get her affairs in order.” We had a feeling that this could possibly be the last time that we see her since we live so far away. The following summer we received the news she was in hospice care and before we could get airline tickets to visit her, we received word that she had passed. Breast cancer has now become so prevalent that I can’t help but worry about encountering it again in our family, especially since we have three daughters in the household. Each day I have to make decisions about what is best for them. That’s where the mother – daughter toolkit created by the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP) can help.
This information is brought to you by Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP). It is not meant to be considered medical advice. Always consult a physician. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the FTC Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Do you read the labels on your deodorant or shampoo? Do you look at a water bottle before you or your daughter drinks from it to make sure it is BPA free? How about the microwave? Have you ever caught your daughter just popping the take out container into the microwave with the food in it? I do! I may just have been driving my daughter’s crazy with my list of instructions. Instead of just “micro managing” as they like to say, their health, I sat down with them and explained WHY mom makes the decisions and suggestions she makes. Certain products and behaviors, may contain certain risk according to recent research. To avoid those risk it’s important to avoid the products and behaviors. If I’m wrong, then so what you waited an extra minute to put the food on the plate. But if I’m right we have taken some steps together to reduce our breast cancer risk. But having this discussion isn’t easy. It’s not “where to babies come from” or “your menstrual cycle” hard but it is difficult. It brings up hurts like loosing their grandmother and it makes us face the fact that each one of us may be at risk. No daughter wants to think of their mother having breast cancer and no mother every wants to see her daughter experience it either. So, the topic is a little scary. But with some help it can be easier for mothers to talk to their daughters.
The Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program
Scientists, physicians, and community partners in the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), which is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), study the effects of environmental exposures on breast cancer risk later in life. They created a mother-daughter toolkit mothers can use to talk to daughters about steps to take together to reduce risk.
Many of these steps can start as soon as mom knows she is pregnant. The others we can do throughout our lives. Haven’t been doing them? It’s not to late to start.
The more we know about breast cancer the sooner that something may be done about it. Maybe even in time for our daughters to have a cure. Help researchers by providing them with information about your experiences, knowledge and concerns with this quick, easy and confidential survey.
For more information:
Flyer for Hispanic Spanish-Speaking Populations
Flyer for African-American Populations
PSA Flyer “Dear Mom: It’s me, your daughter.”