October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it has made me think of two dear friends. Both strong wonderful women have had breast cancer, and one is currently facing a recurrence and dealing with treatment.
My friends are among the 1 in 8 American women who develop invasive breast cancer over their lifetime.
Not too long ago the simple tools for early detection and savings lives – annual breast screenings and mammography for women – were not fully covered by all insurance. Now they are. These healthcare reforms were hard-fought, and it’s important they remain fully intact as healthcare continues to be debated in Oklahoma City and Washington, D.C.
Leaders in Washington seem to want more decisions in the hands of insurance companies. Fourteen percent of our citizens still have no insurance at all. Oklahoma is 48th in the nation for healthcare. This is just another list where we are at the bottom.
We shouldn’t allow healthcare to be so political. Women should not be treated as pawns in the healthcare debate. As a state, as a nation, we have to do better.
This is what you can do right now if you are a woman reading this blog: Please make sure you are conducting breast self-exams, scheduling annual clinical breast exams and getting annual mammograms if you are over age 40.
Life gets busy and sometimes as women to put the needs of our families first. Yet we can’t neglect our own well-being. Our healthcare — women’s healthcare — is family healthcare.
Keeping us mothers and grandmothers healthy keeps our entire families healthy, too.
P.S. – Please hold a good thought for both my friends, and say a special prayer today for your friends with breast cancer. Thanks.