>Mind

Cop a feel

Meriel Swain / 28 May 2015

I was having dinner with friends recently and we were laughing about getting older. I shared with them my experience one morning, not long after turning 46 (sadly, a few years ago now), when I received two pieces of life-changing post. The first was some spam from Saga about holidays and insurance. And the second was an invitation to attend my first mammogram. I was outraged at being targeted when I was significantly below the age demographic!

The spam from Saga went straight into the recycling. And I dutifully arranged to attend my first mammogram a few weeks later. I was a bit nervous about what to expect, so asked my elder sister to come with me. She told me that the smaller your boobs are, the more uncomfortable the experience. I surveyed my chest area and thought ‘Yup, I'll be fine'.

The mammogram itself wasn't so bad (my sister was right). You have to wait for the results and assuming everything is okay, you then move onto a three year cycle for check-ups. Or do you? The radiographer asked me whether I checked my breasts routinely. Yes, of course I do. She then asked me whether I really checked them, as in, did I know how I was supposed to do it. I responded that I just had a good feel, and wasn't that okay? She directed me to a diagram with instructions which I'd never seen before, which was really helpful.

All of this is great, as long as I take the initiative been mammograms to check myself regularly. And why wouldn't I want to do that if it prolongs my life, and helps me avoid or mitigate against a really horrible condition. And the answer is that I'll do it when I value myself enough to take that step.

June 2015 is Male Cancer Awareness month in the UK. So really, this blog shouldn't be about boobs, but about balls. But I'm female J

So, guys, have you got the balls to cop a feel this month? Do you value yourself enough to check your body regularly and thoroughly? If this is something you struggle to do, ask yourself why. And then perhaps we can talk about your answer.

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