I'm a breast cancer survivor. Here's a bit of my story , which I published a couple of years ago. It bears re-publishing because it validates the importance of doing your own breast exams, of being your own advocate. When it comes to your health and your life no one can do more for you than you .
If it's October, then it's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Of what do you need to be aware?
Well, if your a woman you have a high risk of getting breast cancer. I know. I am a breast cancer survivor.
Eighteen years ago I discovered a lump in my breast. My doctor blew me off. Why? I'd had a normal mammogram two months earlier.
One year later I returned for my annual exam. Mentioned that the lump in my breast concerned me. To give you peace of mind, he said, we'll have it biopsied.
So it was. And a week later I got the call. We're sorry to inform you--huge pause, then rushed speech--but the tumor we removed from your breast was malignant.
I almost fainted. I could hear my heart beating in my ears. It was so loud it drowned out what I was hearing.
That day my world changed. I who thought I was healthy--who felt better, looked better, weighed less, exercised daily--who had no family history--I had breast cancer.
I found my lump. I followed up and persisted. Had I not, I may not be here today. Later I learned my doctor neglected to do some things..in other words he was negligent. He didn't cause my cancer, but he certainly didn't do anything to help me detect and treat it early.
I had a years delay in getting it treated. When I found it, it was large enough to feel when palpated. One year later it was much bigger.
So...the moral here is...examine your breast every month. If you find a lump, go see your doctor. If he blows you off, get a new doctor. Follow up. Don't assume you won't get cancer. The majority of women who do have no family history.