OPINION

Take a time-out to check-in this Mother’s Day

Hannah Farley, regional community liaison for Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region
Special to The Chronicle-Express

Mothers spend countless hours each day taking care of their loved ones. Whether it is a child, parent, partner or friend – mothers are hard at work making sure the needs of their loved ones are being met. They are so busy taking care of others that they often set aside their own health needs, thinking that they will reschedule an appointment for another time. As the calendar fills up with work, school activities, social calls and prior commitments, many mothers’ commitments to their own health gets pushed further down the priority list, until it’s off the calendar altogether.

Hannah Farley

Being a mom is a hard job and finding a balance between meeting your family’s needs and meeting your own needs can seem unreachable. This became apparent in March 2020 when the pandemic began. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, around 3.5 million mothers living with school-age children left the workforce last spring – either from taking time off, losing their job or by not working anymore. While some businesses being closed during the pandemic caused many jobs to be lost, others were lost because mothers often carry a heavier workload of unpaid domestic household chores and childcare.

While the pandemic has been at the forefront of our minds, breast cancer continues to be an incredibly common disease that effects one in eight women during their lifetimes. While mothers need to think about the health of their families and themselves when it comes to the coronavirus, they also need to consider their own long-term health.

Whether you are a mother to a human, dog, cat or even a plant, take a time-out for yourself this Mother’s Day to check-in with your doctor about getting screened for breast cancer.

If you are an uninsured woman 40 years of age or older, you may be eligible for a free breast cancer screening. Call the Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region at 1-877-803-8070 for more information. This program is supported by funds from the State of New York.

Hannah Farley is regional community liaison for Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region.