California Educator

October 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 71

Perspectives Fighting cancer Pink Plate Bill promotes breast cancer awareness Member advocates for knowing your own body BY SHERRY POSNICK-GOODWIN B E I N G N A M E D 2 0 1 1 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year was a proud moment for Deborah Bordeau. She was grateful to be honored, but even more grateful simply to be there, because one year earlier she was fighting the biggest battle of her life after being diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. "I was lucky. My cancer journey could have been much different," says the Oakley Union Teachers Association member, who is now cancer-free. "I was able to fight back. For that I am forever thankful." Now her goal is to "pay it forward" and help others by creating a California breast cancer awareness license plate that will convey the message "Early Detection Saves Life" and serve as a daily reminder that mammograms and self-exams are critically important. "I wasn't aware of what to look for with my selfexams, so when I felt a lump toward my right armpit area, I ignored it," says Bordeau. "I never knew that breast cancer could form so high up. One of I was lucky. the things we promote with the plate is My cancer 'Know your body.' If something doesn't journey feel right, get it checked." could have She and three other survivors (Heather been much Solari, Chere Rush and Heather different. McCullough) approached state Assembly Member Joan Buchanan (D-San Ramon) with the idea, which resulted in AB 49. The Pink Plate Bill is making its way through the Legislature. Besides raising awareness, income from the sale of pink plates will provide access to life-saving exams for women throughout the state. For more information, visit 26 Educator 10 Oct 2013 v2.1 int.indd 26 Deborah Bordeau shows the proposed pink license plate she hopes will raise awareness of breast cancer in California. rem1nd3rs • Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. While mammograms help detect cancer before a lump is felt, breast self-exams help women to be familiar with how their breasts look and feel so they can notice any changes. • Men get breast cancer, too, and should do regular selfexams. Studies show men die at higher rates than women from almost every kind of cancer. • Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s. • Breast self-exams are best done while lying down so breast tissue spreads evenly over the chest wall and is as thin as possible, making it much easier to feel all the breast tissue. • Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40. Source: American Cancer Society O C T O B E R 2013 10/7/13 9:38 PM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - October 2013