Breast Cancer Awareness Nail Art for Reasons

Hello gentle reader.

Breast cancer awareness is a cause that is close to my heart and seared into my soul. I lost my mother to breast cancer last November. She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease and in spite of all best efforts and treatment, it spread fast and took her from us far, far too soon.

I am not going to argue pink washing and ribbons and whether it is all "right" or "wrong." If my loss taught me anything it is that there is no right or wrong. There is only what there is. And while I strongly object to the rampant consumerism and the corporate money grab that has unfortunately become such a pervasive part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in the end, if all of these pink ribbons all over the place and BCA this and BCA that reminds just one woman to get checked, find her malignancy early and her life is saved; if just one daughter is not made to endure the devastating loss that I did, I am not going to speak too harshly against it.

I am going to encourage all of my gentle readers, women and men - yes, men can and do get breast cancer and when men are diagnosed, their chances of dying are often higher because most men don't  know that they are at risk and they don't take steps to check themselves and their cancer is caught too late - to look to your breast health. Talk to your doctor, assess your health, your own risk factors and take appropriate action for you.

Learn how to do a proper self exam and do them, on a regular basis. Most cancerous lumps are found by self exam or "by accident." A wet, soapy hand in the shower, the caress of a lover, just applying body lotion. Get to know your breasts really well. How they look and how they feel and keep an eye and a hand out for any changes. And if you do see or feel anything, even if it seems small or like "nothing" get your ass in and see your doctor! Better to get examined and scanned and get the all clear then to let something tiny, that can be stopped in it's tracks early get out of control.

Talk to your doctor about the appropriate scans for you, for your age, breast tissue type and risk factors. Breast cancer can strike at any age. Teenagers have been afflicted as have people in their eighties or later. Mammography, the gold standard of breast scans isn't so effective for those who have dense breast tissue. If you are young or have dense tissue, have a chat with your doc about ultrasound. Tumors missed by mammogram can found by ultrasound. Again, talk to your doctor! 

This is important. This is real, gentle reader. Please take some time to click the links to the American Cancer Society's sections on breast cancer. There is a lot of information, there are hard facts that we all need. We need to be informed, educated and aware. This is about our lives, our futures and those of the people we love the most. Make every month of your life and the lives of those you love Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Don't live in fear. Live aware. And live.

From the American Cancer Society website:

What are the key statistics about breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
The American Cancer Society's estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2014 are:
  • About 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 62,570 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 40,000 women will die from breast cancer
After increasing for more than 2 decades, female breast cancer incidence rates began decreasing in 2000, then dropped by about 7% from 2002 to 2003. This large decrease was thought to be due to the decline in use of hormone therapy after menopause that occurred after the results of the Women's Health Initiative were published in 2002. This study linked the use of hormone therapy to an increased risk of breast cancer and heart diseases. Incidence rates have been stable in recent years.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman's death is about 1 in 36 (about 3%). Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.
At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.) Survival rates are discussed in the section “Breast cancer survival rates by stage.”

Last Medical Review: 09/25/2014
Last Revised: 09/25/2014

Far more information can be found here.

And because I like to do a little nail art now and again and I want to do my small part:


Polishes used are from the OPI Pink of Hearts 2014 duo and OPI Alpine Snow. The ribbon decal came in the Pink of Hearts set, as did the clear crystals. The pink crystals are from my small nail art stuff drawer. (It's a very small drawer! Hee! Hee!)

It took me four days to write this post and it isn't as "well written" as my others. It was difficult and painful and at times, my fingers didn't want to move across the keyboard and I had to stop and go away but I felt deeply motivated to write it, regardless of how long it took me or how it came out, in the end.

Thank you so much for reading this post. I hope with all of my heart that you also clicked the links and read all of the very good, very necessary information provided. If you or someone you love is fighting breast cancer or any form of cancer (yes, I know that other forms exist, all too well. My dad died of prostate cancer in 2008) just know that my thoughts and my every good hope is with you. Cancer sucks! It is horrid and evil. It is my dearest wish that one day, we can wipe it out.

Be well, gentle reader. Cherish every day. Be happy and don't forget... Pee before you polish. It sucks to finish a manicure and have to dance until it dries.

48 comments

  1. I loved reading your post. Your nails look fab and I'm sure your mom would have loved them too! <3

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  2. Thanks for sharing the breast cancer information!

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  3. Thanks for such an informative post. Breast cancer screening is a must!

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  4. Great post! I had no idea that men can also get breast cancer :S

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  5. Gorgeous nails! Excellent info as well <3

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  6. Thank for posting all of this info. Not to sound like a commercial but breast cancer affects us all and we should know all we can about it.

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  7. Yes, they can. If they have a family history, their risk is even higher.

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  8. You're welcome. I hope it is helpful to someone. :)

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  9. Thank you so much. :) I think that she would have. She wasn't a fan of pink washing but she liked my work. <3

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  10. Beautiful mani! Great facts as well!

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  11. It's a beautiful mani, and I'm so sorry for your loss. *hugs*

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  12. Lovely manicure for breast cancer awareness!

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  13. This is the best BCA manicure I've seen!

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  14. This is amazing! <333 I'm so sorry about your mom.

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  15. I'm so sorry about your mom! And I love the "pee before you polish" advice! :-)

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  16. Soooooo sorry for your loss. You raised so many great points in this article. The first of course being that you need to TALK to your doctor. I asked mine recently if I should start having mammograms based on my family history and she said no, it would be unlikely they would even find anything and you would need different scans. It shocked me because I guess we all assume if they are going to find something it would be through mammogram. The second brilliant point I took away from this was to pee before you polish. Oh lord I have been in that situation too many times!

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  17. I wrote about my mom about a week ago. It is really hard when it hits close to home. AND I love your mani!

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  18. Sweet mani and story. I'm so sorry about the loss of both of your parents to cancer. Pee before you polish, lol! Dance afterwards anyway. It's good for the soul.

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  19. Very sorry about your loss, and thank you for sharing your story.

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  20. I want to hug you right now. Sorry about your mom.... Yes, early detection is the greatest prevention. Monthly SBE and talking to you doctor any change in size, shape, irregularity, etc are important. I'm going for my first ever mammogram next year...

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  21. if you have strong family history of cancer, ask your doctor about BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic testing. Screening mammogram is usually indicated for women age 50+ (new guidelines) but most doctors still recommend it once you turn 40. Sometimes your doctor can order it if you (or your doctor) feel any lump of unclear etiology. In other cases, a breast ultrasound or biopsy if dx mammo can't confirm it.

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  22. first... I am so sorry about your mom. I have had to go in and get checked several times for BC and it always scares me... and have had an aunt who battled and her hair is finally growing back... I did a full makeover on her because she just was not happy about herself. Second... I love this mani, it is gorgeous and I love the reasoning behind it. :)

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  23. Beautiful manicure. I am so sorry about the loss of your mom.

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  24. They are so pretty ! I wish I had done something similar. I'm sorry about your mom, and this is a cause we should all spread the word about.

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  25. Thank you for your hearfelt post, I know it was hard to write.

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  26. I love the finger with the ribbon. So cute!

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  27. Thank you so much. It was important to me.

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  28. Thank you so much, Betzy. She was a pretty incredible lady. :) We all do our own thing, in our own way. I agree, we need to spread the word. :)

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  29. Thank you, Honey. <3 Keep on getting checked. Don't be afraid, just be aware. I am so glad that your aunt made it. She is one less. That nasty disease didn't get to have her and I am delighted. :) I'm sure that she loved her makeover. :) Thank you. I wanted to do something special and I'm glad it came out well.

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  30. Thank you. <3


    That first one is a doosey. After that, they aren't so bad. Just... Awkward. And the waiting time for the result is a little sweaty. ;) I always breathe a huge sigh of relief when mine come back clear. :D

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  31. Thank you so much. I hope that it helps others. My mother would like it if it does. :)

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  32. Thank you, Nidia. Yeah... Cancer. It fucking sucks, man.


    I needed to interject a light note and that is always good advice. I read all too often about people who realize too late that they have to pee and they wreck their freshly polish nails. No bueno! LOL

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  33. Right. Different people need different scans. It's case by case. I am going to tal to my doc about genetic screening, considering my family history. Can't hurt.

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  34. Yes. Pee first. A wrecked mani isn't worth saving two minutes! LOL

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  35. Thank you. It's good advice. Thought I'd pass it on. :)

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  36. Having just gone through treatment for breast cancer (chemo and radiotherapy, and now hormone therapy for perhaps 10 years), I want to thank you for this post. I have just started my own blog which is charting my nail art journey, which started because my nails were severely damaged by chemotherapy. They went all brown, started peeling and flaking, and even started lifting away from the nail bed on several nails. I was told I should wear nail polish to protect my nails from the sun's UV rays, and to hide any discolouration and damage I might get from having the chemo, but no one told me that I should wear a base coat and a top coat with my nail polish, or that I should treat my nails with cuticle oil and anything else I could get hold of to help STOP any damage being done to my nails. If only I had known then what I have discovered since I started looking for ways to fix the damage that was done, and how to look after my nails once they had recovered. It is now over three months since I had the chemotherapy, but the damage still hasn't grown out, and the tips of my nails still flake and peel, but the new growth is looking good so far. Little did I know, though, that my search for help would lead me to a whole new hobby - Nail Art. The beautician at my local pharmacy, who has helped me a lot whilst I was going through the treatments, tells my husband that they have created a monster by encouraging me to do nail art, and I'm sorry, but they are right. I am addicted, big time.

    Anyway, thanks once again for sharing this information and encouraging people to check themselves regularly. It is something I tell every woman, young or not-so-young, to do regularly, without fail. Keep up the good job you are doing on your blog, and have a wonderful day.

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  37. Please, please, get yourself checked regularly, regardless of what your doctor says, especially if you have a family history of breast cancer. Take it from someone who was saved (I hope) because I found the lump myself when I was diagnosed with BC in February this year, and I'm so glad I did, because I found it before it had a chance to spread any further (we hope). I had the lump removed, but still had chemo and radiotherapy, and am now having hormone therapy, possibly for up to 10 years, to stop the oestrogen being produced in my body, because that is what was feeding my cancer. So, please do get yourself checked if you feel you should, and also tell your doctor she doesn't know what she is talking about and needs to keep up with the latest research. She should know better.

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