I remember when I felt the lump in my breast. It felt huge. I would like to say I was calm, but I can’t. I…freaked…out.
At the time I had two little kids (three, counting my husband) and I was only 35 years old. I had just been to my doctor’s office and was told everything was fine. My mammogram exam showed nothing significant. However, the very-next-week the lump found its way to the surface of my breast. I don’t recall what was worst – the lump or waiting days for the appointment with the surgeon who would later tell me it was “benign”.
I had always been athletic, so a lump in my breast made me question what I was eating, drinking and stressing out on. It jolted me into looking at what I was eating, not how much I was eating.
About 39,510 women die from cancer in the U.S. every year, with breast cancer being the most common after lung cancer. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 36, even though breast cancer has been going down. (Research says finding the cancer earlier and better treatment accounts for this).
Too many of my friends have been traumatized by this tornado-like disease. It seems to devastate the body by zigzagging from one nodule to another without a map, then leaving in its wake a body not deserving of its aftermath.
I find the news quite unsettling that we have not found a cure for breast cancer yet. I believe breast cancer can be cured…without radiation, without chemotherapy, without all of the prescription drugs forced on the women in my life so that they can remain “cancer free’. I’m probably going to infuriate a lot of scientists by saying this but of course I don’t care. I believe that finding a cure for breast cancer will eliminate a lot of jobs. The money is in the research people, not the cure. Even though the treatment is better than it was10 years ago, why are we still getting cancer?
Depends on who you ask. Some say DNA. Some say smoking, drinking, diet, lack of exercise and hormones. It’s important to note that 85% of women who get breast cancer do not have a family history of this disease. Some of my friends never smoked, are athletic and eat healthy. Go figure.
The problem as I see it? Our air, water and soil are congested with industrial pollution, auto exhaust contaminants and toxic chemicals. Our food is choked with vegetables and animals on steroids. It’s what we breathe, it’s what we intake, it’s in our foods.
A new study has emerged called “The Sister Study”. It will follow 50,000 women whose sisters (not themselves) have had beast cancer. The study will track the factors of possible causes of breast cancer. For more information on this study go to www.sisterstudy.org.
In the meantime, thoroughly wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them. Boil, broil and grill foods and refrain from frying so much. Get some regular exercise! Refrain from overdoing the liquor intake the next time at your favorite bar. Check out what you eat, eats.
As always, I will do my part by participating in as many, walks, runs and biking events for cancer research in the hopes that my registration and sponsor dollars will go to the hospitals and clinics that keep the many women in my life alive.