Did you know October is Breast Cancer Prevention month? Today, about 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.

We know this statistic is pretty Dang alarming and we wanted to find a way to educate our Dangster community on best practices. So, we phoned up our dear friend Shaney Jo from The Keep A Breast Foundation to ask her for her top tips on caring for your coconuts.

Dang: What is your best advice for someone who is “too nervous” to check themselves?

SJ: We know the thought of finding a lump can be scary, that’s why we emphasize that checking yourself is not checking for cancer, but knowing your “normal.” You know you have a cold because you know how your head and sinuses are supposed to feel, this is the same relationship we want people to have with their breasts. If you know what is normal for you, then you know when something is wrong and you can catch it early. Check your breasts from a place of love and empowerment.

Check your breasts from a place of love and empowerment.

Dang: What is the best age to get into the practice of at home check-ins?

SJ: Around the time of a young women’s first period is the best time to start a positive relationship with their breasts. Again, not to check for cancer, but to establish a routine and what is normal for you. It’s a great conversation to have with the young ladies in our life about health and wellness with an emphasis on self love.

Dang: You have a pretty amazing app, Check Yourself!, that helps guide you through checking your girls. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

SJ: We do! Our Check Yourself! App is available in seven languages, and gives you a monthly reminder and a step-by-step guide (with gifs) on checking yourself. The best time to do your self-check is about a week after your period and with our app you’ll never forget! Download it and share it with your breasties!

Download it and share it with your breasties!

Dang: If I have a family history of breast cancer, when should I start getting mammograms?

SJ: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends starting mammograms at 50, at the earliest 40, but this is really up to the individual based on the potential harm versus benefit. There are over 38,000 breast cancer diagnosis in women under 45, and with 40% of diagnosed breast cancers being self-detected (according to the John Hopkins Medical Center), we emphasize the self-check as a routine years before mammograms are recommended. Thermography is more available now as well when a woman decides more testing is something she wants to do. We have options, and we want to empower everyone to be their own health advocates, ask the questions, get multiple opinions, and demand the care you deserve when you know something isn’t normal with your breasts.

Dang: What is one myth you’re tired of hearing?

SJ: I can’t tell you how many times I have heard women say. “Breast cancer is not in my family, it won’t happen to me”. One of the biggest myths around breast cancer is the emphasis on family history. Yes, if you know your family has a history you should keep a closer eye on your breast health, but only 10-15% of breast cancer diagnosis are contributed to family history. The remaining 85-90% of diagnosis are attributed to environmental exposures. We can all take measures in our lives to be our own health advocates and commit to prevention and early detection!

Dang: Do you have any good self-care tips on how to be preventative at home?

SJ: Prevention can really be described as serious self-care. Whether it’s exercise, eating a balanced diet, using non toxic personal care products, getting enough sleep, or doing something you love to de-stress. Our program Non Toxic Revolution gives tips on how to practice prevention at home through all aspects of our life, from checking your labels for harmful ingredients to eating your medicine to keeping your indoor air quality as non toxic as possible. Prevention is a lifestyle and a journey, the information can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that you can take steps in your life lower your risk, like exercise! Just 30 minutes of exercise 3-4 times a week can lower your risk of breast cancer by 30-50%.

Prevention is a lifestyle and a journey.

Dang: Part of prevention is cancer research. Can you tell us how Keep A Breast is getting involved?

SJ: Research has been crucial to know what is actually contributing to breast cancer. We partner with research organizations such as Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, the Environmental Working Group, and Women’s Voices for the Earth to make sure our education is scientifically backed and gives people founded ways to be preventative. We know that they have that covered, so we focus on education and meeting young people where they are to start their prevention journey.

Dang: Aside from donating, how can more people get involved in raising awareness?
SJ: Aside from donating, we encourage people to download our Check Yourself! App and tell your friends and family to be their own health advocate and check themselves. We also have a rad campaign happening this October called Fit 4 Prevention, find a class near you, or host one, and support our programs and your prevention journey!


Do you have advice on how to take care of your coconuts? Comment below!