While there can be a lot of awareness about breast cancer as a whole, one woman named Erin Smith Chieze is hoping to do a little bit more than just raise simple awareness by creating an infographic on what breast cancer can look like.
While many are posting photos of hearts, she herself knows that rather than that, women and men should learn about the different ways the cancer can manifest on the body. Frustrated by the new campaign, she decided to do something a little bit more and posted an incredible infographic onto her Facebook.
She herself once benefitted from a similar infographic, as she explains-
“In December of 2015 when I saw an indentation that looked like one of those pictures, I instantly knew I had breast cancer,” she wrote. “I tried to feel for a tumor, but my tumor was non palpable. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 days later and with stage 4 the following month. A heart did nothing for awareness. I knew what breast cancer was. I knew all about self exams, but a picture of what to look for keyed me into knowing I had a terminal disease.”
She decided to share her story because educating the public on what cancer is actually like is something our society can sometimes fall short on. She uploaded the graphic from the Know Your Lemons campaign, which was started by the Worldwide Breast Cancer organization. It’s used to encourage self-exams in both men and women!
Frustrated that the world was only sharing hearts, a strong woman took action and decided to do something that she felt would bring about real education to the world. She’s doing her part to bring change to the way cancer is discussed, and bringing on a new era that fights cancer beyond catchy slogans and pretty colors.
Read her full statement below-
In the past few days, I have received quite a few private messages about a “game” going around where you post a heart, then you are secretly supposed to state it is for breast cancer awareness. This is my response to all of these messages.
Someone once posted a picture on Facebook of what breast cancer can look like. Not feel, but look like. In December of 2015 when I saw an indentation that looked like one of those pictures, I instantly knew I had breast cancer. I tried to feel for a tumor, but my tumor was non palpable. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 days later and with stage 4 the following month. A heart did nothing for awareness. I knew what breast cancer was. I knew all about self exams, but a picture of what to look for keyed me into knowing I had a terminal disease. We need to give REAL information, not cute hearts. Without having seen a picture randomly with real information, I wouldn’t have known what to look for. Do us a favor, stop playing games with my life and start truly helping people. Metastatic breast cancer treatment research and real awareness.
This is a photo I have found that is very similar to the one I originally saw. PLEASE, stop playing games that do not actually promote awareness, they often cause people to tune out anything that might even mention the word awareness. So if you truly want to help people WITH cancer, or those who will GET cancer, share photos like this one. I wish I remembered who posted the original picture I saw, it truly did make a difference for me.
Share and save a life.