Check yourself for breast cancer with this photo of lemons that went viral

“If you really love your mother, like and share!!!!!!!”
“If you found this funny, share this with all your friends!!!”

How many of these do you see in your News Feed everyday? A dozen? Two dozen? Perhaps you even like and share a few. All in the right spirit, you say. But a little while ago, this concept of making something go viral was taken a little too far. This article from Scary Mommy by Maria Guido will tell you more: 

You may have been messaged this week to secretly post a heart on your Facebook wall in honor of breast cancer awareness. The message looked something like this:

“Hello, can you put a ❤ on your wall, without comment, only a heart, then send this message to your female contacts. After putting one ❤ on the wall of the person who sent you this message. If anyone asks why you have so many hearts on your wall do not answer. It is for women only to remember it’s the week of breast cancer prevention! ❤ Check your boobies!!
Hold your finger down on the message and hit forward.”

One breast cancer survivor wondered what this action was doing to actually help spread awareness or information, and took to Facebook to share her own message.

15995304_10154886141978894_8265492017301998768_o“In the past few days, I have received quite a few private messages about a ‘game’ going around where you post a heart, then you are secretly supposed to state it is for breast cancer awareness. This is my response to all of these messages,”she begins.

“Someone once posted a picture on Facebook of what breast cancer can look like… In December of 2015 when I saw an indentation that looked like one of those pictures, I instantly knew I had breast cancer. I tried to feel for a tumor, but my tumor was non palpable. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 days later and with stage 4 the following month,” Chieze writes. A photo actually helped her detect signs of breast cancer, and saved her life.

“I knew all about self exams, but a picture of what to look for keyed me into knowing I had a terminal disease,” she explains. “We need to give REAL information, not cute hearts. Without having seen a picture randomly with real information, I wouldn’t have known what to look for.”

There’s nothing wrong with sharing “hearts” in solidarity. You can definitely do both. But if you’re wondering what seeing a heart on a Facebook wall will do, the answer is probably “not much.” Some real information in the form of an image that tells you what to look for could actually be helpful though.

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