Remember when I did the Race for the Cure? And I briefly mentioned I got to be on TV? Ahhh, yeah! Well, I TIVOed the segment, burnt it onto a dvd but can’t seem to get it on the computer. (so, any hints would be appreciated!)
The entire segment was full of interviews on different types of women who were at the Race. She interviewed us because we were 6 daughters and 5 moms who had been affected by breast cancer. There was another segment of an older woman who had survived breast cancer. But the segment that got to me was a young mom with a little baby. She was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 months previous while she was still breastfeeding her infant son. They didn’t go into much detail in this little news segment but the girl was crying (yet strong!) when she said, “I’m only 31 years old and it can happen to anyone!”
Here we were all excited and invigorated for walking for our grandmothers and aunts, while this girl the same age as us was walking for HERSELF!
This leads me to WhyMommy. She’s a young blogger who has been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. It’s not discovered by monthly breast exams and a lump. It’s symptoms are similar to mastitis. (And I’ve had that twice. It is not fun!) I’ll let WhyMommy tell you about it:
We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?
I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.
Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.
Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.
There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.
Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.
You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.
Wow! Can you hear it in her voice? She’s ticked. She wants to kick this cancer! And she doesn’t want it to hurt anyone else. So, she’s encouraging bloggers to post this everywhere to spread the word about inflammatory breast cancer. Now that you’re informed, feel free to let others know. And please go visit WhyMommy and encourage her by letting her know you’re praying for her!
You know how I feel about cancer. I’ve seen God heal. I’ve got the WHYMOMMY button in my sidebar because I pray for her everyday. A girl I don’t even know. But God knows her. He made her. He loves her and His desire is not for her demise but for her healing and her abundant life!