Breast Cancer Ambushed by Mammograms

Makenna Wines

Breast Cancer awareness is more than just wearing the color pink. It is the knowledge of the symbol, the perception of breast cancer. For Mrs. Besnard, an AP Literature teacher at PV, this subject hits close to home. This past summer on July 21st at her annual Mammogram, an X-Ray picture of the breast with the goal to detect and early diagnose breast cancer, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had no visual symptoms, but it was there. Dr. Pai, in her third year of being a breast surgeon specifically at Enloe, explained “that it isn’t just heretical, 90% of cases happen randomly,” further stressing the importance of performing a monthly self-examination of one’s own body and when coming of age, the age of 40, going and being invested in annual mammogram appointments.

This does not just apply to women. While women have “between 12 to 13% lifetime risk of breast cancer…between the ages of 40 to 85, and this is somebody that does not have any increased familial risk,” and this is applicable across the world. Dr. Pai went on to express that “men have to think about breast cancer also… men’s cases make up one-tenth of women’s rates, that is 1.3% in a lifetime, so it is not 0.” Breast cancer affects both men and women. Everyone needs to understand and perform monthly body checks to be aware of what is going on in their body.

Students, staff, and community members can buy PV Breast Cancer Awareness shirts and other apparel in the Viking Vault or on their online website. (Makenna Wines)

When something is found, think of what Mrs. Besnard advises: “I’d rather be proactive than reactive,” because acting on monthly self-examinations and mammograms and advocating for oneself is better than something becoming much worse. Furthermore, Dr. Pai advised that “It is good to have a relationship with your doctor…if you have a relationship with them and you tell them ‘I feel something off,’ most good providers will examine you or at least tell you to monitor it clinically.” It is always, 100% of the time better to speak up when you feel that something is wrong than to just keep it to yourself.

“Advocate for yourself at all times,” when you feel something is off, even if you are young and get dismissed by a doctor for any specific reason and still feel that there is something, both Mrs. Besnard and Dr. Pai advise to get a second or even a third opinion. Speaking up and asking only does good. It is better to know than to wonder. Know your body, perform monthly self-examinations, and if something ever comes to your attention, advocate for yourself, your health, and your future. You can ambush breast cancer.