Check your lovely lady lumps

Alexia Harris

OK guys, you know you do it, just admit it.

When you see a girl, you look at her breasts. I mean, if you are going to hook up with her, she has to have a nice body, right?

Men aren’t the only ones obsessed with breasts. Females are infatuated with their breasts, too, and will take drastic measures to make sure that they are perfect. I admit, when I was in middle school, I used to stuff my bras, until I found out they made padded push-up bras.

But, what is the big deal about breasts?

My co-worker T.J. loves breasts.

“They are voluptuous and nice to look at,” he said. “But, I try not to stare.”

Ellen, my boss, believes “having breasts is being a woman.”

“If I had my breasts removed, I would be devastated,” she said. “I mean, who wouldn’t be?”

Lynette, my friend’s mom, now in her 50s, hadn’t been to the doctor in years, until she was experiencing an acute pain in one of her breasts. It took a month for the doctors to figure out what it was.

In 2003, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Usually when people are diagnosed, they have one or two swollen nodes. She had nine.

As a result, she has been through 15 surgeries, a year of chemotherapy and radiation, and later had her breasts removed.

Lynette calls herself “a walking miracle.”

“I didn’t like not having breasts or having my hair cut off, but I’m okay with it now,” Lynette said.

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts from cells of the breast. Although it is more common in women, men can be diagnosed also.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. The organization reported that about 212,920 women in the United States will be found to have invasive breast cancer in 2006 and about 40,970 women will die from it.

There are risk factors that may increase your chances of getting breast cancer:

n Gender: The disease is about 100 times more common in women than in men.

n Age: Nearly 8 out of 10 breast cancers are found in women 50 or older.

n Family history: Risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have the disease.

n Race: White women are slightly more likely to get breast cancer than black women. But black women are more likely to die of this cancer. Asian, Hispanic and American-Indian women have a lower risk.

You don’t have to wait for a doctor to see if there are abnormalities in your breasts – you can perform your own self-exam. Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, it is the perfect reason to go to the doctor and make sure you are cancer free.

Kent State even has a campus organization, Colleges Against Cancer, that is dedicated to fighting cancer. CAC meets every other Thursday at 7 p.m. in Room 316 of the Student Center to discuss prevention and education. They are also selling pink T-shirts until October 12 to spread awareness.

You are not invincible. It can happen to you or the person sitting next to you.

Remember, if you like yours as much as I do, you’ll feel them.

Alexia Harris is a junior public relations major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].