Breast cancer awareness ribbon.

Breast Cancer Awareness

Are you or a member of your family among the 1 in 8 women in the United States who will get breast cancer?

– I AM.

Kirby Bates Associates is proud to participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.  Unfortunately, I and other members of my family are among the 1 in 8, which makes the above graphic resonate for me.

I am somewhere between being a Fighter and a Survivor, as is my niece, Jennifer. Sadly, Jennifer’s mother, Lillian, my dear cousin and my mother’s namesake, lost her 14 year battle with breast cancer 3 years ago at the age of 60.  We lost Lillian when I was about 9 months into my battle. When we got together we both took off our caps and sat with our bald heads talking and crying about all the good times we had as kids on grandma and grandpa’s farm and all the years since.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is to do regular mammograms and speak up if you think the mammogram missed something.” -Karen Kirby

I say I am somewhere between a Fighter and a Survivor because I still feel I am in a battle with lymphedema and Arimidex, the hormone suppressant that I keep telling my oncologist is no friend of mine! I think I will feel like a survivor when I make it to the 5 year mark in June of 2018.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to do regular mammograms and speak up if you think the mammogram missed something.  Two years before I was diagnosed, I was sure I felt a lump but the mammogram didn’t show it.  I discussed it with both my gynecologist and PCP and they could feel what I was talking about but they didn’t think it was something to worry about, so I waited 2 years to get my next mammogram.  By then there were two tumors and a lot of positive lymph nodes. I can’t help but wonder how things would have been different if I had pushed harder when I was suspicious and not waited another 2 years, despite the current guidelines.

Don’t make my mistake.

Follow the National Breast Cancer Foundation recommendations, shown below, BUT also follow your own instincts.  You know your body better than anyone!

•    If you are a woman age 40 to 49, talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.

•    If you are a woman age 50 to 74, be sure to get a mammogram every 2 years. You may also choose to get them more often.

Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours had breast or ovarian cancer.

Wishing you all the best,

Karen K. Kirby, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAAN

President & CEO

Office: 610-667-1800 ext. 306
Direct Line: 617-514-0040  Mobile: 267-968-1880