MBCN’s Ginny had 17 years of regular mammograms following her DCIS diagnosis. She writes: ” My education in breast cancer began the day I was diagnosed with mets and I learned that mammograms are a good tool, but less effective when the woman is young and premenopausal; less effective for women with denser breast tissue; less effective at identifying aggressive cancers; susceptible to many false positives…and unable to predict whether the cancers that are identified will go on to be deadly or will proceed in an indolent and unthreatening growth cycle, better left alone.”
Read this important post!

MBCNbuzz

I have a confession to make. Before I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, I would hear that someone in my community had died from breast cancer and I would think: “It’s too bad they didn’t  get annual mammograms. It’s too bad they ignored early detection practices. It’s too bad they died, but it’s really their own fault.”

I was diagnosed in 1992 with early stage cancer–stage 0 or DCIS–the earliest you can have. I had a simple mastectomy, which was considered a 100% cure, and breast reconstruction. I continued on with my life, without worrying too much about breast cancer. I never embraced the pink survivor label because I never felt I had gone through that much–no chemo, no radiation, just some disfiguring surgery followed by a saline implant, which was supposed to simulate a real breast.

I continued for 17 years with annual mammograms, 17 years of breast…

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6 thoughts on “

  1. Mammograms, no mammograms! Healthy eating, lots of exercise, no junk food, lots of junk food, red meat and alcohol. This insidious disease seems to pick us at random. I’m disillusioned with the search for the “cure” and believe Dr. Susan Love is right: We must find the cause of breast cancer and find a way to prevent it like researchers have done with cervical cancer.

  2. Cheryl says:

    I had mammograms faithfully every year. Last year’s showed microcalcifications,which led to biopsy that showed DCIS. Then 2 large lumps that DID NOT SHOW ON MAMMOGRAM were biopsied and were IDC. MRI/PET/CT scans led to bone biopsy that confirmed mets and I started out at stage IV.
    So I think MRI’s should be done,not useless mammograms.
    At stage IV,I disagree with the need for even more money to be wasted looking for a way to prevent it. I believe there are too many types of breast cancer to ever find cures for all of them.

  3. I hope I can encourage you guys to visit my blog today. I have a “dust up” with a major local NY foundation who keeps tweeting “Until there is a cure, prevention is #1” I asked nicely and then, I got really irritated so, BLOG rant……It’s a canned tweet and I asked them to please CAN IT because it sends a “blame” message. PLUS they are educating girls in high school, too. VERY upsetting.

    Please comment over there….. I want to show them how MANY people are offended by a poor choice of words which implies ANY element of control over the disease or its progression.

    Great Job, Katherine….

  4. Thank you for this, Katherine. I get so flipping tired of people thinking that DCIS is ‘the good kind’ of breast cancer. Not to mention thinking that mammograms save lives.

  5. mhopper55 says:

    I am another DCIS woman that went on to bone mets 10 yrs later. I had a mastectomy in 1999 so I would be “cured”. I would have needed a crystal ball to catch it any earlier. I agree that we must understand more about what causes this disease to truly prevent it. Early detection is no guarentee.

  6. Dianne Boyce says:

    Breast cancer took my mother at 40 years old( l971), my maternal grandmother as well. My mother told me, her only daughter, that there would be a “cure for breast cancer” and I would not need to worry.” Well.. There really has not been any cure, in fact, 5FU and Methotraxate, are still the drugs of choice as was 41 years ago.!! I have had at least 48 mammos, several biopsies, and one MRI which was very uncomfortable in itself. I spoke with Susan Love personally. We need to know the cause. I know my mother had the cancer a good ten years before she was even aware of it. When I go to heaven, I have made a decision to be a researcher in “spirit”, find the cures for cancer, and come again as a doctor…

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