I live with a couple of women (wife and daughter), who voice complaints every year when they get their notice to schedule a mammogram.  According to them, the procedure is uncomfortable.  They often ask, why  they have to do this every year?   There are two important reasons as I see it:  To catch breast cancer at an early stage, and keep them alive.

Perhaps you have noticed some ads this month reminding us that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  I suppose we should applaud companies that donate a portion of their sales during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October to various non-profit organizations.  It certainly is a way to keep the issue in the forefront.  It also helps those non-profit organizations with their education efforts.  But to me, all that hoopla really isn't necessary.

Breast Cancer is a serious medical issue that women (over 40) should be checked for on an annual basis.   It's simply common sense.  While the medical community may not have all the answers, in this case, periodic testing makes the most sense.

So when the women in my life get that notice in the mail, I gently remind them that common sense should prevail, and to keep that appointment.  Breast Cancer Awareness is not just for October.  It's something that you and the people you love should think about year-round.

For more on cancer care check out this website: http://www.southcoast.org/cancercare/