Ten years after beating breast cancer, Sheryl Crow is opening up about her experience and speaking out about why we need to be diligent about getting mammograms.
On Tuesday, the singer penned an essay for People, urging others to "stop making excuses" and get tested for breast cancer. Despite technological advancements, she wrote, too many of us are neglecting to get our mammograms when we need to.
"Whether it’s fear of finding out they have cancer, or a misconception that a mammogram isn’t the right type of screening for their breast type — excuses abound and many of them come from a place of fear or misinformation," she wrote. "I consider it my responsibility, as someone who credits surviving breast cancer to early detection and my commitment to getting my annual screening, to tell every woman I meet she needs to stop making excuses and schedule her exam."
According to the American Cancer Society, women should be getting annual mammograms beginning at age 45, but women ages 40-44 should have the option to start annual mammograms if they want to (in the case of those with a family history of breast cancer, for example).
A study from earlier this year, however, suggested that early mammograms starting at age 40 may cause a large reduction in breast cancer deaths. In any case, it's best to have a conversation with your doctor to better gauge when you should be tested for breast cancer yourself.
Crow also wrote that she is speaking out to break through the ubiquity of "pinkwashing" in October that she said has "desensitized" us to how dangerous breast cancer really is.
"We need to fight the pink fatigue this year during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and remind one another that each of us can play a significant role in the fight against breast cancer by simply taking the time to schedule our mammograms," she wrote.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For more stories about detecting, treating, or living with breast cancer, click here.
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