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thingamaboob: funny name. serious message giveaway

Breast cancer is something that thankfully my family hasn’t encountered {knock on wood}. I recently had a little scare about a lump that I’m currently waiting to have an ultrasound performed on, but I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about…just my doctor being overly cautious – which I welcomed with open arms. Too many times we go to the doctor with a concern {whether he thinks it’s legitimate or not, it’s still our concern} and our doctor downplays it and says, “ah don’t worry about it…it’s not in your family” or “you’re too young”.
Maybe, maybe not. There’s nothing wrong with getting things checked out if there’s a cause for concern. Especially when you’re between the ages of 50-69.  When you’re in this age group a mammogram every two years is absolutely necessary! 

As a way to spread the word, the Canadian Cancer Society launched the Thingamaboob in Ontario in 2005. The initiative was to help communicate to women in a tangible way how important regular mammograms are once you turn 50, when it’s the most treatable! The more women who start thinking and talking about breast screenings the more lives that will be saved. 

I was absolutely shocked when I took a look at the Thingamaboob and realized the size of lump that can be detected during a mammogram vs. a self exam or physician’s exam. Check out the pic below – the smallest bead is the size of an apple seed {the average sized lump found in a mammogram} and the largest bead is the size of a cherry tomato {the average sized lump found during a self exam}
Most women who have breast cancer have no family history or risk factors other than simply being a woman. But knowledge is key for everything, so here’s a list of risk factors to double check. 

Risk factors for breast cancer include:
  • having had breast cancer before
  • family history of breast cancer {especially in a mother, sister or daughter diagnosed before menopause or if mutations on BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes are present}
  • family history of ovarian cancer
  • an above-average exposure to the hormone estrogen, which your body naturally produces, perhaps because you:
  • have never given birth or gave birth for the first time after age 30
  • began menstruating at a young age
  • reached menopause later than average
  • have taken hormone replacement therapy {estrogen plus progestin} for more than five years
  • dense breast tissue {as shown on a mammogram}
  • a history of breast biopsies showing certain breast changes, such as an increased number of abnormal cells that are not cancerous {atypical hyperplasia}
  • radiation treatment to the chest area {for example, to treat Hodgkin lymphoma}, especially before age 30

Some factors slightly increase your risk of breast cancer. You may be at slightly higher risk if you:

  • are obese {especially after menopause}
  • drink alcohol
  • take birth control pills {the Pill}
Some women develop breast cancer without having any of these risk factors. 

Most women with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.

No matter how old you are, become familiar with your breasts and talk to your doctor if you notice any changes. Many women are alive and well today because their breast cancer was detected and treated early. 

Now, back to the Thingamaboob! They retail for $10 here and money raised from the sale will go towards funding leading-edge research, including breast cancer, providing support services, such as offering over the phone or one-to-one support to women living with breast cancer, as well as prevention and advocacy initiatives.
For Ontario women, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed type of cancer. In 2009 an estimated 8,700 women in Ontario will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 2,100 will have die of breast cancer. Regular mammograms are the most reliable way to find breast cancer when it’s most treatable. In Toronto, only about 60% of women aged 50-69 are getting regular mammograms — that means approximately 50,000 women are not.
Let’s change those numbers and help the Canadian Cancer Society spread the message by joining the Thingamaboob Pass It On movement!!
One lucky winner from Ontario will receive 10 Thingamaboobs {perfect amount to give away to girlfriends, aunts, moms and grandmas!} AND a Martha Stewart Cookbook! $152 Value!
The Canadian Cancer Society wants to encourage all women to pass on the message to friends 50-69 to get a mammogram every 2 years. I’d love for you to get behind this campaign and do any {or all!} of the following:
  • Inspire other women to take action by sending them a light-hearted e-greeting here
  • Like Thingamaboob on facebook 
  • Leave a comment on the Thingamaboob wall – the current question {and responses} are pretty amusing!
  • Like Natural Mommie on facebook
  • Subscribe via email
  • Subscribe via reader
  • Grab my button
  • Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link
  • Follow my blog with Google Friend Connect
  • Follow @thingamaboob on twitter
  • Follow @naturalmommie on twitter and ReTweet this giveaway {can be retweeted daily – leave me the links} RT @naturalmommie Time to talk about the Ta-Tas!  Win a $152 @Thingamaboob #giveaway #breastcancer Ontario only! http://bit.ly/bZZf4u 
Closes June 6th  at 8pm MST. Open to residents of Ontario only.
*For facebook entries, please leave your first name and last initial with your comment so I can verify you’re a fan on facebook.
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