health

How my friend had her healthy breasts removed to save her life. (video)

There are some people in your life you don’t see for years – even decades – and then you reconnect and it’s like resuming a conversation interrupted by a brief phone call. Jackie Cross is someone like that for me. We worked together at Cleo with Lisa Wilkinson, Wendy Squires, Paula Joye and Deborah Thomas. A finer, more clever group of magazine heads you will never meet.

I recall the day Jackie met her husband. She worked in the sales department and Billy was the owner – and star – of Manpower, the male stripper group which at the time also featured Jamie Durie and they’d sent a bunch of free tickets to the Cleo office. I couldn’t go that night to the Manly RSL club to watch the performance but Jackie went, along with Lisa and a bunch of others.

Almost 20 years later, Billy and Jackie have two kids and a thriving business they run from the Gold Coast – which includes the touring ManPower show (Billy retired from performing many years ago in case you were wondering) and the Thunder From Down Under in Vegas as well as music festivals in Australia.

Anyway.

Jackie’s story is a compelling one that you’ll want to hear.

Thanks Jackie.

When this happens to someone you know it is a wake up call to have yourself tested and now is the time. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Pink Ribbon Day is Monday 25 October. BreastScreen operates in most states with a free breast screening service for women over 40 years of age. We have written about Free Breast Cancer Screenings here. For women under 40 years of age, your GP can do a breast exam at the same time as a pap smear. The WA Breast Imaging Clinic also has a great resource of FAQ’s about mammograms and early detection on their website here.

From the McGrath Foundation

Being Breast Aware

Because breast cancer affects women of all ages, it is important that all women, including young women, examine their breasts regularly to pick up any changes. Self-examination is important because if you’re aware of how your breasts normally look and feel, you’re more likely to notice a change if it develops.

In addition to seeing your doctor each year for a breast examination, you should check your breasts regularly. A good time to do this is after the last day of your menstrual cycle or if you do not have periods, the same date each month. Most women find that their breasts are easier to examine just after their period when any premenstrual pain and lumpiness have settled.

You may check your breasts standing up, for example in the shower, or lying down, for example before going to sleep. Your partner should also be alert and look for changes in your breasts.
You can check your breasts by:

* Looking at the shape and appearance of your breasts and nipples in the mirror with your hands by your sides
* Raising your arms above your head and looking for a change in the shape of the breasts
* Feeling for lumps in the breasts either while lying down or standing
* Feeling for lumps in the nipples area and in the armpits

You should look out for the following changes:

* A lump or lumpiness or even a change in shape or appearance of your breast such a dimpling, redness and appearance of veins
* An area that feels different to the rest of your breast or any pain in your breast
* Any change in the shape or appearance of your nipple, such as your nipple being pulled in or development of a rash
* A discharge from your nipple, particularly if it is bloody

I’ve asked Jackie to stop by and answer any questions and respond to comments so go for it…….

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