October has brought out the militant in my blog posts this year. I might have been a bit severe in my post, ‘Cut, Poison, and Burn’. I may have intimidated in my post ‘Pink Fatigue’. I might have scared in my post,’ Sharks and Breast Cancer Analogy’. I don’t apologize for my writing because I care very deeply about Breast Cancer. If a sharp, WAKE UP AND GET THAT DAMN MAMMOGRAM call out is needed; I am the woman to say and write it!
Do I hear some whimpering? Do you think a mammogram is uncomfortable? Do you think “I don’t need one every year because I read something somewhere that says so?” Think again. You do know that breast cancer caught early has a 98% survival rate. That is survival from death, just to be clear. Over 40,000 women DIE from breast cancer in the US every year!
If you think a mammogram is uncomfortable, cancer treatments are no walk in the park. Do you believe the hype that says radiation exposure to a mammogram is more harmful than helpful? I think someone who never had undetected breast cancer that if caught early through a screening mammogram could have been avoided wrote it.
Breast cancer caught in early stages can have a small impact on the person. Maybe a lumpectomy or two, or radiation daily for 5-7 weeks is the upside. Breast cancer caught in a stage greater than 2 may have to have be treated more aggressively by more treatments.
Then there are different kinds of breast cancer; some being more aggressive even at an early stage. To be clear, aggressive in the world of breast cancer means there is cancer beyond the initial area, or has metastasized, spread, to another organ. Aggressive cancer means aggressive treatments. Aggressive treatments mean chemotherapy, surgeries, drug therapy, and any tools the oncologists have to beat the cancer into remission.
So now that October is winding down I can return to my normal blog posts on midlife musing, night sweats and breast cancer with a less strident tone. I want to assume all my blog readers have scheduled their YEARLY mammograms for 2015 and 2016. Right? RIGHT????