Saturday, October 31, 2009

"It's a Girl Thing" ATCs and a message for Women

Pink prevailed in the FiberAntics October ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap. Among the eyelets and lace, luscious velvet trims, pearl buttons, teeny bikinis and all-things-bling, there were health-conscious reminders that surfaced in the artist trading cards about the importance of annual mammograms. Although it was not a conscious decision on my part to have "It's a girl thing" as the theme for October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, sending the message to "Get Screened" is always timely.

Here are some statistics in the United States:
•  every 3 minutes, one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer,
•  every 13 minutes, one woman dies of breast cancer,
•  there are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States,
•  with early detection and if confined to the breast, the 5-year survival rate is 98%.

The small group of artists who traded in person relayed stories of their "annual ritual" and family and friends who are BC survivors. One trader's grandmother, a BC survivor,  is going 30+ years strong. Congratulations! You go, Girl!

If pink makes you think "girl things," I hope you'll take one step further and associate it with an annual mammogram. If a history of this disease runs in your family, talk with your doctor and reevaluate the recommended "40 years of age" starting point for a mammogram—I did, and have had routine mammograms since my late 20s. The procedure is really not scary and the advancements with digital technology have improved processing, diagnosis and treatment.

Studies have shown that mammograms and early detection does make a difference. So, tell all the women in your life to "Get Screened." It's not just a girl thing.  It can make a difference  in everyone's life. 
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