Women are taught the importance of self-exams for detecting breast cancer from a very young age. These self-breast exams have helped millions of women identify cancerous lumps in their breasts, and in turn helped them save their own lives.
Musician Melissa Etheridge is one of many celebrities who discovered her own breast cancer when conducting a self-exam in the shower. Etheridge, who had lost multiple family members including her father and grandmother to cancer, fearlessly battled her diagnosis while carrying on with her career. She famously performed bald at the 2004 Grammys after losing her hair during chemotherapy, and wrote the song “I Run for Life” about her battle against the disease.
Self-breast exams are extremely important as a first step for identifying potentially cancerous abnormalities. And, it can be extremely empowering to know that you identified your own cancer. Of course, further diagnostic tests will be required before the diagnosis is confirmed and treatment can begin, but self-exams give women the opportunity to take action and put their health in their own hands.