The more I talk to my best friend about her plan for battling this disease the more I am learning about the importance of early detection. Turns out there is no family history of breast cancer and the only reason this was found was because several years ago she had a lump removed that had some cancer cells in it. At the time they removed extra tissue around the lump and the surrounding tissue was clear of cancer. Ever since then she has had regualr mamograms to check. Last year there was nothing.
Her treatment is to have a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery at the same time. (By the way the new reconstructive surgery uses belly tissue so she gets a tummy tuck at the same time!) Afterward when they get the pathology the determine weather Checmotherapy or radiation is necessary. She explains to me that the double mastecomy is to avoid further years of checking and worrying if the cancear will show up again. My other friends treatment is different. Chemotherapy first and then the surgery.
It's so much to take in but I am heartened by the stories my best friend tells of reaching out to others. It seems so many people we know and their loved ones have battled this disease and have come through with flying colors. These survivors give her hope and strength, while raising her three girls, that everything will be ok.
Sadly a few friends have also shared how their loved ones from earlier generations passed because there was no family history, no pain, or a fear of doctors that lead them to skip getting the mammogram or ignore the lump they felt when showering. Awareness has meant everything to battling breast cancer and increasing the numbers of survivors.
Please urge the women in your life to do self exams, see the doctor, get their mamogram and get everything check out. Ignoring it doesn't make the cancer go away, only your loved ones.