— it’s also of support to women currently battling breast cancer and encouraging others to get checked for early detection.

"Every October I have a standing date . For a mammogram . For me, having the appointment on the books makes it routine, like the dentist,” she wrote. "I know it’s scary, sisters, but just do it—the next best thing to an all clear is early detection. To everyone in the thick of the battle—respect and love and strength to you. ”

According to the National Cancer Institute, early detection of breast cancer through mammograms allows patients to get a head start on treatment, and can decrease the likelihood of it spreading.

Health officials also advise "breast self-awareness,” which means becoming familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel so you will be more likely to recognize anything out of the ordinary when doing a breast self-examination.

"For any individual, it could be what makes the difference between less aggressive treatment and potentially longer survivorship,” Marisa Weiss, MD, Director of Breast Health Outreach at Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and Chief Medical Officer of Breastcancer.org, told Health last year.

This article originally appeared on People. For more stories like this, visit people.com.

This Story Originally Appeared On People

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