Friday, October 19, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Means Hearing the Whole Message

Or at least it should. If you read the comments after the article I liked to in my last post, you're up to speed. I'm betting it's not the story you're hearing on the street.

No, that story is all about finding breast cancer early enough to result in a 98 percent cure rate. The rest of the story is the reason I keep this blog.

The whole story explains it's not a cure rate, because there is no cure yet for breast cancer or any other type of cancer. It's a survival rate, and it's one for only five years out. Not a lot of time by my reckoning, especially not when you're diagnosed at 37.5 years old, as I was. There's also no "early enough," because women diagnosed at any stage and with any statistics going in can one day, any day progress to Stage IV, which is always terminal. This progression will happen to 20-30% of those who get breast cancer.

Myself? Like most who get breast cancer early, mine was extremely aggressive--grade 3 out of 3, Her2Neu+++ and had spread to three out of twelve lymph nodes as well as out of one lymph node and into the tissues surrounding it. I was stage IIB, very close to IIIa, so not early stage. Middle stage.

But there isn't enough research to say if my cancer is going to come back and kill me or if I will die of something else one day. Every single survivor is in this boat of uncertainty.

And we're the lucky ones, because we haven't yet found ourselves in that 30 percent who know where this is all headed. Thirty percent--it's a rate that hasn't changed in more than 20 years!!!!

Cure NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

**Thank you to the women who commented on this article for the statistics I've been searching for, which I've included in this article.

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