Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What Cancer Awareness Really Means

So you shared some status about your purse on Facebook in some secret underground movement to remind other women to do breast self exams, then you patted yourself on the back for spreading awareness?


I'm afraid that's not enough, though.

Those little internet viral dares to share aren't real awareness, not to those of us who've been put through the hell of cancer in real life.

Once you're had cancer take your life, turn it upside down, shake it vigorously and completely change everything, you understand that true awareness is more than that.

Real cancer awareness screams from the rooftops to feel your boobs, feel your balls, get your ass to the doctor when something is wrong NOW. Real awareness doesn't giggle nervously in the corner while sharing some secret message about a bra on Facebook.

Real awareness demands more. Demands people get over the notion that certain body parts are icky and to be hidden, not to be touched, and get over it right now.

Guess what? You have to touch them. You have to feel them up and get to know every square centimeter of them. You have to. It's your life.

The best way to find a lump isn't the annual mammogram that most women get, it's self exams at home...but you have to do them frequently enough to notice subtle changes.

The way that most cases of testicular cancer are discovered is through self exams too, that's how my husband found his. True story.

Feel your boobs, ladies.

Feel your balls, gentlemen.


Stand in front of mirrors and LOOK at your body, ladies. Really look at your body. Hold your arms up in the air and shake what your mama gave ya. Check your skin. Lift up your boobs and look under them. Turn sideways. Bend over. Lay down. Take a shower. Squeeze them, pinch them, jiggle them.

Yep. I'm talking to you.

Here's a graphic with happy mammary glands. You want happy mammary glands, right???

Do this.
I'm dead serious.

Guys, I'm talking to you too. Unlike women, who can pretty routinely develop fibrous tissue and calcium deposits and clogged milk ducts and all kinds of other loveliness in our boobs, your man sac is different. If anything feels weird down there, it's a sign that something might be very, very wrong.

Get to know your balls, guys.

Yes, you have permission to play with yourself. Get to it.

Your testicles should be roughly the same size and shape. There should be no abnormal textures or lumps or anything out of the ordinary. Nothing should hurt or be tender or be swollen. Here's a graphic of balls with happy faces on them for you.

You want your balls to have happy faces, not sad faces, right?

Happy balls are better. For sure.

These are the two types of cancer that are best screened for in the privacy of your bathroom, so get on it people.

Lock that door and have some quality alone time.

For everything else, if you feel funky, you feel weird, something seems off, something is out of sorts, go to the doctor. Now

Don't wait.

Cancer thrives in those who wait. Don't give it that chance. Your life is depending on it.

Trust me, you don't want to go to Cancerville. It kinda blows.

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