Breast cancer is a destructive disease
Breast cancer is a destructive disease but I want this article to be a constructive one.
Most of us know someone who has been affected by cancer.
Olivia Newton-John once said:
“I look at my cancer journey as a gift. It made me slow down and realize the important things in life and taught me not to sweat the small stuff.”
Most of us know the statistics on cancer, so I don’t need to go into detail about the likelihood of each of us getting a form of the disease. I do understand the importance of that kind of information so I will include some links in this article and you can read about breast cancer in a lot more detail if you wish.
The dreaded lumps and bumps…
Some of my friends and I have found lumps in our breasts but thankfully lumps aren’t always cancerous. My lump wasn’t, but the stress and anxiety of waiting to find out were overwhelming at times.
I remember looking in the mirror and thinking that there was a possibility I wouldn’t see my grandchildren being born, it was a horrible feeling. I felt so out of control of my life. I know there are many women out there who have experienced that anxious time. I did sort of prepare myself for bad news and I found strength in reading about breast cancer, I loved this quote:
“Do not keep calm and carry on. Wake up every day and bitch slap that cancer until it’s gone!”
Knowledge is power!
Knowledge is power and the longest speech, the shortest sentence or the simplest of words can have a big impact on someone’s life.
A simple comment like, ‘are you ok?’, ‘everything will be alright’ or ‘I love you’ could make such a difference to someone’s state of mind. Just knowing that someone cares can be such a comfort.
When someone is physically or mentally ill it’s important to give them hope, to comfort them and to help them.
Remember, kind words don’t need to be time-consuming and it doesn’t cost any money to say them.
Say something kind today…
I would like to introduce Anne, she’s a kind lady.
Anne was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago.
Anne kindly agreed to talk about something that had a big impact on her life and lifestyle for quite some time. Not just on her life but the lives of people around her who love and care for her.
They do say that when someone gets cancer, their family and friends do too - emotionally. It’s tough but looking at it from a positive point of view, it makes some families stronger.
Anne is brave and not one to make a fuss or give up - she has a lot to live for.
This is the short story about a long drawn out battle with breast cancer (don’t worry, it has a happy ending)...
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer just before my 50th birthday. I had 2 lumpectomies before having a mastectomy and reconstruction. I received great care from the hospital, especially from a breast care nurse who helped me once I got home.It was all very traumatic, especially for my family. I was so grateful for not having any chemotherapy.
I took Tamoxifen for 5 years with limited side effects. I was lucky to have had an early diagnosis straight after my first mammogram."
Anne had explained that her sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer the same week as her. She really has been through a tough time.
"For women that have been diagnosed with breast cancer, my advice would be, don’t panic, have trust in your medical team and carry on with life as normal as possible.
Talking about it is good but it mustn’t take over your life.”
By Anne sharing her short story, we hope one of our readers will have found her experience a comfort and it gives them hope.
Unfortunately, there isn’t always a happy ending...
The feelings of loss and failure are hard to deal with and to live with but we can learn from each other’s experiences and try to find a positive in a negative situation.
Just like you, I see social media posts and adverts on the TV about family and friends wanting the legacy of their loved ones to live on and wanting to help other cancer sufferers. It’s endearing to see people of different ages, who were once strangers, women dressed in pink tutus and leg warmers running for miles to raise money for breast cancer. I’m sure, by the end of those events, new friendships are formed and strength is taken from their enthusiastic actions. Strength comes in numbers and society have created wonderful ways to deal with breast cancer.
There are people and organisations that can help breast cancer sufferers...
Some of the following things you won’t have heard of and there might be something here that could make a massive difference to yours or someone else’s life.
Do take time to look at the websites that we have listed.
The National Breast Awareness month
This event is in October. It is an annual international health campaign organised by major breast cancer charities.
Find out more information here.
Did you know?
The breast cancer 'pink ribbon' was created by a woman named Charlotte Hayley in 1992.
Charlotte handmade peach-coloured ribbons with informational cards that read:
"The National Cancer Institute annual budget is $1.8 billion, only 5% goes for cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and Americans by wearing this ribbon".
‘Self Magazine' in conjunction with’ Estee Lauder’ were working on an NBCAM matter that same year and presented Hayley with an opportunity to contribute in the issue in a trade for the rights to use the peach coloured ribbon.
Hayley declined the offer, having no desire to work with big companies. After turning it down, Self magazine and Estee Lauder changed the ribbon colour to pink (to avoid legal difficulties over rights) and then used the ribbon as their emblem.
Estee Lauder distributed the ribbons to women at the cosmetic counters with instructions included on small cards how to do a correct self-examination for breast cancer.
Find out more here.
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation often referred to as simply Komen is the largest and best-funded breast cancer organisation in the United States.
In 1980, Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister Susan that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982 the Susan G. Komen organisation became the beginning of a global movement.
Find out more here.
Cancer Research UK - the co-founders of Cancer Help UK were Nick James and Sally Tweddle. Nick was a cancer specialist, Sally Tweddle was an educationalist with an interest in literacy. Her husband’s cancer and their search for cancer information online inspired CancerHelp UK.
Find out more here.
What do we know about breast cancer and our lifestyles?
Breast cancer isn’t just in inherited genes, there are certain aspects of our lives that can play a role in us developing breast cancer.
Ongoing research suggests the following could play a part in breast cancer:
Several studies are looking at the effect of exercise, weight gain or loss, and diet on risk
Studies on the best use of genetic testing for breast cancer mutations continue at a rapid pace
Scientists are exploring how common gene variations (small changes in genes that are not as significant as mutations) may affect breast cancer risk. Gene variants typically have only a modest effect on risk, but when taken together they could possibly have a large impact
Possible environmental causes of breast cancer have also received more attention in recent years. While much of the science on this topic is still in its earliest stages, this is an area of active research
How to recognise the symptoms of breast cancer.
We are going to return to this topic to discuss the future developments in breast cancer. If you feel you have something you would like to share with us in a hope to help others, please contact us today.
Best wishes, Rachel
** The content on this site should not be used as medical advice, we are giving our readers information and insights. If you are concerned about your health or need medical advice please see your doctor. If you are struggling with any issues please talk to someone, don't suffer in silence.