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This is why preventative health care is so important,  why funding for women's health clinics matters.   My aunt has breast cancer.   Didn't find it in a mammogram.   Didn't get her mammograms.   Found it in the shower a week ago.   Biopsy came back today.   She's forty three.

My aunt and uncle gave me safe haven in my early life, when my step father was driving me to suicide.   She practically raised me until I graduated high school, even though she's only ten years older than I.

I just don't even know what else to say.

Get your exams, people.   Fight for funding for Planned Parenthood.   Hug your loved ones.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I know, it's not really that political. (19+ / 0-)

    I'm not much of a  diarist,  but sometimes, I gotta write.

     If there are formatting errors,  I'm sorry.   Wrote this on my phone.

    We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine,

    And the machine is bleeding to death.

    by Marcus Tullius on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 09:48:19 PM PDT

  •  Well done. I'm getting a colonoscopy (7+ / 0-)

    this morning.

    My father died of some kind of cancer,
    it may have been colon cancer.

    I was in the hospital room when he died.

    You could edit your diary;
    take the first word off the title.

    Get Your Exams People
    is a better title than,
    Meh,
    anything.

    Thanks again.

    Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 10:32:46 PM PDT

  •  Thanks, I'm almost a year overdue for a (5+ / 0-)

    mamogram.

     Sending good thoughts to your aunt.   Hope it works out OK.  

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 10:50:39 PM PDT

  •  May not matter (11+ / 0-)

    I had breast cancer that never showed up on a mammogram, and that's actually not uncommon for premenopausal women. (The mammogram doesn't "see" very well through premopausal breast tissue.) Finding it yourself is the most common method even for people who religiously get their mammograms every year or two.

    So yes, screening is good; but it isn't as much of a gold standard as the cancer-industrial complex would have you believe.

    The good news is that breast cancer treatment has gotten a lot more sophisticated (and effective) since I was initially diagnosed. If she needs chemo, that will take a lot out of her; radiation can also cause a lot of fatigue. So be there and support her, and there's a good chance that she will be around in your life for a long time to come. Think of it as a chance to give back.

  •  There is significant controversy (4+ / 0-)

    I am very sorry to hear your aunt has breast cancer.

    To get breast exams or not to get breast exams is a controversial issue.  I've chosen not to.  It is not high risk factor in my family.  

    PBS did a documentary called Why yearly mammograms can be harmful that explains some of the reasons that I decided not to do yearly mammograms.

    we found that the introduction of screening has been associated with about 1.5 million additional women having been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.

    ... there were only about 140,000 fewer women with a diagnosis of late-stage breast cancer. The discrepancy between 1,500,000 and 140,000 meant that more than 1.3 million women were told they had early-stage cancer and underwent surgery or surgery with radiation, years of hormone therapy, and in some, chemotherapy for a "cancer" that if they had done nothing was never going affect them.

    Even worse was the finding that metastatic breast cancer, the kind that has by far the worst survival, appeared to have had no benefit at all.
    ...
    If screening is saving fewer lives than we thought, then treatment can be given more credit for the remarkable progress we have made in reducing breast cancer deaths.

    •  We all have to make informed decisions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694, Marcus Tullius

      about what we think is best for ourselves. This PBS documentary, at least as reflected in your quote, really seems to border on irresponsible.  If 1.5 million additional early stage breast cancer diagnoses have been made as a result of screening, that is a wonderful thing. Early stage cancer diagnoses are most likely to be "curable".
      Also, make no mistake that early stage cancer is not "cancer". It is CANCER. They really suggest that if women with early stage cancer had done nothing their cancer was never going to affect them? If they had done nothing their early stage cancer would have become late stage cancer, and they would have died. I think they are trying to discourage routine, sensible screening in order to save a few bucks for the insurance companies and at the cost of a lot of lives.

  •  Treatment options are much better (0+ / 0-)

    Much, much better than only a few years ago. Finding a lump yourself and getting it investigated and treated if necessary is NOT a death sentence, though it might have been in the past. And a lot depends on the type of cancer cell you have. There are some cancers that will kill you no matter how early you detect them. And some that can be excised successfully to give you a reasonably long life, even if detected when they are large. And there are some things that show up that are not cancerous, in the sense that they will just sit there the rest of your life and not do anything. Which is which? The mammogram can't tell the difference. Medical science is only just now (at the cutting edge) getting better at identifying these, via blood tests not xrays.

    Those of us who have been around a while know women who got regular breast exams/mammograms which didn't spot their cancers. It's not an infallible technology, by a LONG shot. Statistically far more women get treated unnecessarily (for lumps that are not cancer) due to screening than are successfully diagnosed. These treatments can be devastating.

    Mammograms are part of a huge, profitable industry. Women are urged to get these but without proper and scientific analysis of the cost/benefit/risk. As a result, we each have to make our own decisions based on what we can find out. In my case, I choose to no longer get these. I had one nightmarish episode with a "false positive" that taught me this technology is flawed. No more for me.

    And what is prevention? Screening is not "prevention"--it is finding an existing cancer. What would PREVENT these cancers? There are answers, but this is a topic for some other diary.

    Where in the Constitution does it say: "...on behalf of corporate interests" ???

    by sillia on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 10:36:53 AM PDT

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