Bring Your Brave

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Bring Your Brave campaign. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have three very important reasons to want to know my risk for developing breast cancer. These three standing next to me.

In my pre-teen and teen years breast cancer was a part of my life. I learned around that time that my grandma had breast cancer and it would end up shaping the way that I lived from that point on. It also made me appreciate all of life, the good and the bad. My grandma loved life and she loved her family.  

Did you know that breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States?

11% of all cases of breast cancer in the United States affect women under the age of 45, however, many young women do not know they are at risk. My aunt was one of those 11%. She found out that she had it in her early 30’s. 

Young women like my aunt face a unique threat when they are diagnosed with breast cancer because it is more likely to be hereditary, more often diagnosed at a later stage, and often more aggressive and difficult to treat.

Because my aunt had cancer at a young age and the family history, my mother and I both wanted to know the risk factors for us to develop breast cancer.

 And really, every woman can benefit from learning the risk factors for breast cancer. In addition to the risk factors all women face, some risk factors put young women at a higher risk for getting breast cancer at a young age.

If you are under the age of 45, you may have a higher risk for breast cancer if the following applies to you:

  •  You have close relatives who were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 45 or ovarian cancer at any age, especially if more than one relative was diagnosed or if a male relative had breast cancer.
  • You have changes in certain breast cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2), or have close relatives with these changes, but have not been tested yourself.
  • You have Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. 
  • You received radiation therapy to the breast or chest during childhood or early adulthood. 
  • You have had breast cancer or certain other breast health problems, such as lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), atypical ductal hyperplasia, or atypical lobular hyperplasia. 
  • You have been told that you have dense breasts on a mammogram.

The CDC also encourages women to take three important steps to understand their breast cancer risk:

  1. Know how your breasts normally look and feel and talk to your doctor if you notice anything unusual.
  2. Talk to your relatives about your family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Use CDC’s worksheet as a guide for your conversation. ;
  3. Talk to your doctor about your risk.

Join me this October 27th for the “Bring Your Brave” campaign’s day of action by posting on social media using the hashtag #BraveBecause and sharing your story about what motivates you to learn your risk for breast cancer.

Launched in 2015 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this is its first breast cancer campaign specific to breast cancer in young womenBring Your Brave aims to inspire young women to learn their risk for breast cancer, talk with their health care provider about their risk, and live a breast healthy lifestyle.

The campaign tells real stories about young women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. These women’s stories about prevention, exploring personal and family history, risk, and talking with health care providers bring to life the idea that young women can be personally affected by breast cancer.


Have you or someone you love been touched by breast cancer?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • I love seeing all the support and awareness posts for Breast Cancer this month. I think unfortunately it’s something that hits close to home for almost everyone anymore!

  • Thank you for the reminder that breast cancer can appear at any age so it is always good to talk about any concerns with your doctor. I have had false alarms thinking I felt a lump but better safe than sorry

  • I will join the fight against cancer and show the disease that it can never stop us from finding a cure. I have family who died from cancer and raising awareness is the best way to battle the disease.

  • I can not believe how common breast cancer truly is and consider these facts downright scary. Early detection and monthly self exams are absolutely crucial!

  • Had a couple women directly related to me who had breast cancer. I do my best to take preventative measures but I honestly do not fret over any kind of illness. I really do appreciate the work that you did in this post to help keep the awareness level up.

  • My mom is a two time cancer warrior, not breast though, but her battle puts me at higher risk, my primary began having me do mammograms in my early 30’s to be safe, cancer does NOT respect youth that’s for sure!

  • Breast cancer is definitely one of the illnesses a woman never wants to have. Ever. I am glad more and more are raising awareness for breast cancer and a lot are helping out.

  • A lot of organizations now have campaigns to make people, women aware about breast cancer. It is a serious concern and all these info campaigns are helping a lot of women. As they say, knowing is half the battle.

  • Women who fall victim to this disease are tough and admirable. It’s nice to know that there are a lot who are supporting them and leading them through recovery.

  • Cancer is such a horrible disease that can affect anyone. My Dad passed away from cancer as well. So this is good info to have! Thanks for sharing this.

  • I encourage anyone at high risk of breast cancer to have genetic testing . If you are negative for the BRCA 1 & BRCA 2 Gene mutation than you cannot pass this mutation on your children. If it is positive, then you have more control & can be proactive! Also, did you know that men can pass /have this mutation?
    After loosing my mother to Breast CA & my sister having it, I had the testing. I am negative, so there probably isn’t a genetic component. However, I am still vigilant about my care: As every woman should be!

  • My Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, thought she beat it after treatment and surgery, but then died from lung cancer and other cancer throughout her body in 2011. My Dad died from lymphoma in 2002. I hate cancer. 🙁

  • My family has a history of cancer so we have been through this at least once. It’s so important to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible.

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