By Advanced Imaging of Port Charlotte –
The topic of this month’s article changed radically the weekend before I sat down to write it. I had been planning to write on the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and CAT scans for eye and dental work. However, this weekend I discovered that a friend’s child has had some serious issues; issues severe enough which eventually led to his father calling the police and having him arrested. No parent wants to be the one to have their child arrested; after all, we spend the majority of our adult lives caring for and trying to protect our children. So how did this young man, one who a few short years ago showed a promising future in engineering go so far astray? What happened?
Whenever something like this happens, people question; they question the parents, the child raising techniques and virtually everything that they have ever heard or thought about the family. Onlookers also often think, “So glad it wasn’t my child.” So what happened to this young man? He was raised in a great family, two supportive parents who gave unconditional support and love, and were very involved in their children’s lives. What happened was that his mother died ten years ago from breast cancer. Mom had previously been diagnosed with breast cancer and by all accounts had been cured; she passed the five year mark. However, cancer had other ideas.
Today we hear more and more of these stories. I alone know at least five other women who have died from breast cancer. These women died at early ages, leaving behind children who were teenagers and in some cases younger. We all know that the teen years are difficult enough without the added trauma of losing a parent. All the love in the world and every lesson taught are not a replacement for having a loving parent ripped from you. Losing a parent unexpectedly at such a young age is something that no child should have to bear. With evidence showing that breast cancer rates are increasing amongst younger women and with testicular and prostate cancer on the rise for men, this scenario is one that will likely be repeated. The important thing is this does not have to be the case!
Early screening and detection of cancer lead to a much greater prognosis and survival rate. How many times have you put off having your physical, getting your mammogram, having a colonoscopy? I know, we all are busy; we have busy lives with jobs, children, and spouses. Still it is essential to make the time to have your health checked. If all of these people rely so heavily on you, how will they be if you die early because of an undetected cancer or other disease?
The American Cancer Society recommends that women begin having an annual mammogram at the age of 40. Sometimes this is not early enough. For women with a history of breast cancer in their family, annual mammograms should begin sooner. Please do not ignore physical symptoms, being proactive may literally save your life. Do your monthly breast exam, pay attention to any changes in your breasts, in your arm pit region or just a hunch that something may not be right. The sooner that you find out, the sooner treatment can begin and the better the prognosis is for a full and natural life span. This is not exclusive to women either, men to can be diagnosed with breast cancer.
So whatever your excuses are; you’re too busy, don’t have insurance, don’t have the money, please stop and think about it. All those things mean nothing when it comes to making sure that your child doesn’t grow up without you. Please call your doctor, get annual physicals, find out what is going on with your body. Follow up on the diagnostic imaging that your physician orders. If you do not have the money, there are community groups that can and will offer assistance to make sure that you are able to afford proper testing. Advanced Imaging is more than willing to work with you whether you do or do not have insurance. All it takes is a phone call to make payment arrangements or find out about available financial assistance. In addition, Advanced Imaging has evening and weekend hours so that you won’t even have to take time off of work. Please, take the time to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your children.