October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness month and of late, with an increase in this silent yet killer disease, itโ€™s becoming important to let everyone know how important it is to do a self-examination and not be embarrassed to go for a mammogram. Breast cancer is not a disease that will perhaps decide to hit you at a later stage in life. Iโ€™ve read of cases of teenagers suffering from it and hereโ€™s another thing โ€“ people giggle when you tell them that men can also get breast cancer but it is true.

Of course creating awareness is how you can actually get someone to be aware and more mindful of what they should be looking out for during a self-examination but I draw the line at putting a heart on my Facebook status update. First of all, one person will send you an inbox message that is copied to 107 other people (mostly women) from their own friends list. Then there are some instructions to put a heart as your status update to create awareness for breast cancer and all those usual commendable sentiments that actually do nothing for anyone.

After that someone will put a heart as a reply in that message so all 107 of us will get that one message will, within minutes, trigger at least 43 people to follow suit. No one seems to be paying attention to the message in the first place. Itโ€™s not just about placing a heart on your status update. Itโ€™s about being aware of this killer disease and to stop thinking that it canโ€™t happen to you. This horrid disease is not going to look at your good deeds, qualifications, sex, age, height, weight or anything. If and when it strikes, it will be regardless of any factors.

So, while it is easy to put a heart on Facebook or Twitter, wear a pink ribbon for the whole month of October and talk about breast cancer as a killer disease, making all sorts of appropriate comments wonโ€™t stop it from hitting you or a loved one.

A very dear friend of mine has battled breast cancer. Sheโ€™s had her life flash in front of her eyes, gone through the most horrible times in her life, been rock bottom and yet sheโ€™s come out tops, fighting it all the way, determined not to let it take over her life. Her trials and tribulations have been part of a journey for her, sheโ€™s met wonderful people in her support group and above all, she values her life enough to take this seriously. Iโ€™m really proud of the strength she portrayed and proved it that sheโ€™s a fighter.

What Iโ€™m trying to say is that wearing a pink ribbon and putting a heart on your status update on Facebook is all good is thatโ€™s what makes your boat sail, but donโ€™t forget the important message in this all โ€“ get yourself checked, urge your loved ones to get checked and donโ€™t be ignorant and think it can never happen to you.

Also if youโ€™re one of the 43 people who dare reply within the message with a heart, I will delete and block you.

Be kind to yourself. Go get your boobs checked.

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