For 30 years, the Prevent Cancer Foundation has placed a large focus on educating the public about cancer prevention and early detection. Depending on one’s age – messages need to be different to resonate. Millennials still feel invincible and messages on screenings and early detection fall on deaf ears. That’s why the Prevent Cancer Foundation created the “Check Your Mate” campaign, a fun way for couples to check each other’s bodies for early signs of cancer.
Launched just in time for Valentine’s Day in 2014, “Check Your Mate” started as a social media campaign to teach young adults about early cancer detection. The campaign included shareable online cards depicting three of the most common cancers in young people- skin, testicular and breast. “Check Your Mate” was aimed at millennials and gained traction on social media where the images were reposted by friends, colleagues, bloggers and organizations. The campaign was even highlighted in Forbes magazine by sports writer Howard Cole. “What’s more romantic than saving your partner’s life by detecting cancer at its earliest most treatable stage?” he wrote.
It’s so important to know your body in order to recognize any changes that should be caused by cancer. Often times, partners are the ones who notice these changes first. Whether in bed, in the shower or anywhere you find yourself in the nude with your partner, take a few minutes to look for these changes:
Breast: Feel for abnormal lumps, tenderness or changes to breasts.
Skin: Follow the ABCDE rule when checking out your partner’s skin:
Asymmetry (one half of the mole doesn’t match the other)
Color that is not uniform
Diameter greater than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser)
Evolving size, shape or color
If you notice any change in size, shape or elevation of a mole, or experience any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting, see your health care professional promptly.
Testicular: Feel for any abnormal lumps, tenderness or changes to the testes.
This Valentine’s Day, do yourself and your partner a favor by checking each other’s bodies out for cancer. If you detect anything suspicious, be sure to consult your health care professional.
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