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Breast Cancer Warriors Etcetera

Updated on February 9, 2015

Exploring Breast Cancer Frequency

This is me with hair, about a week before surgery. See those wild curls? I couldn't imagine life without my hair. Nor could I imagine myself with Breast Cancer.

Yes, I knew that I was in a High Risk for Breast Cancer, three times over, but with my vibrant health, attitude, and regular exercise it didn't make any sense to me.

Decades prior to this I'd read a newspaper article that warned persons who had Radiation treatment back in the 50s (me) that we were very!!! likely to get Thyroid Cancer. I didn't buy that one either. No one in my family lines had cancer, and I wasn't about to be the first one to grab acclaim for that.

I did have mountains of stressors - 1) my oldest son's Traumatic Brain Injury, when he was a 21-yr old, 2) a failing marriage, 3) my mental block against signing on full-time to an administrative job when I needed to fulfill my art career, 4) the death of my step-father and my inability to be present for my mom since my temporary position had ended and I needed to continue interviewing for a "real job," and you know how the story goes.

What does that have to do with Breast Cancer? We need the constancy of family, regular social gatherings, giving and sharing, to establish the firm foundation that can carry us through detection and treatment. I short-changed myself a bit - often the case where the mother has a disabled child (no matter the age).

Fortunately for me, even though I was still new in the area, I had support from my daughter, a friend, and my Breast Cancer was small, and the margins were clear. Treatment was fierce for me, and not in a good way, but I'm now twelve years post-Breast Cancer diagnosis. I'm nine years post-Thyroid Cancer diagnosis. I have hair again. Now I'm losing it to age.

I join the ranks of those who advocate for Breast Cancer Awareness. Genetic testing of women whose family members already have breast cancer is invaluable to the woman who choses to get these tests. An informed woman is a powerful woman!

She can decide which way to go in her desire to prevent breast cancer. While some women with BRCA1 gene decide to adjust their lifestyles and count on their vibrant choices to stave off the disease, genetic predisposition may overrule their attempts.

At the same time, those healthy life choices may be just the thing to help a woman enjoy her years of cancer-free living, not prevent breast cancer, but allow the woman to "feel" healthy while she lives undiagnosed.

It may be important that it does not seem to be a family history of breast cancer alone - but the combination of ovarian cancer and breast cancer in at least 4 affected relatives - that brings the greatest risk: "33% for cases from families with both breast and ovarian cancer and at least 4 affected relatives."

JAMA concludes, in JAMA. 1998;279:915-92: Conclusions.- These data suggest that in the general US population, widespread screening of BRCA1 is not warranted. In contrast, BRCA1 mutations are sufficiently frequent in families with both breast and ovarian cancer, or at least 4 cases of breast cancer (at any age), that genotyping might be considered.

The emerging picture of BRCA1 population genetics involves complex interactions of family history, age, and genetic ancestry, all of which should be taken into account when considering testing or interpreting results. History, Age & Ancestry

Sometimes we women think we are all destined to develop breast cancer. BMC Women's Health reports on one means of clarifying for women the near likelihood of incurring the disease: Breast cancer risk communication using a bar graph plus a frequency format diagram can improve the short-term accuracy of risk perception among women perceiving inaccurately high risk. Breast Cancer Risk

A Breast Cancer RESEARCH article concludes: "Germline mutations in the two major breast cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2 (MIM113705 and 600185), are frequently found in families containing multiple individuals affected by breast and ovarian cancer [1]. However, BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are only identified in about 15-20% of multiple-case families affected by breast cancer alone [1,2]. Other breast cancer-predisposing genes might account for a proportion of the remaining cases." BRCA1 & 2

A 2005 report indicates that "Fewer American Women (are) Dying of Breast Cancer." Fewer Women Die

If you love Dr. Susan Love, for her wealth of information, it's ease of understanding, you will double-love her blog Dr. Susan Love Read her latest posts, and go back in time. It's the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation page.

Breast Cancer Warriors empower women to also fight breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Warriors provide information and resources to empower women and men in our quest to control and cure breast cancer.

One Big Breast & Breast Cancer Book.

Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book, 5th Edition (A Merloyd Lawrence Book)
Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book, 5th Edition (A Merloyd Lawrence Book)

I always had this book open on the table, throughout treatment and recovery.

It's invaluable for all women with breasts, this book raises awareness for women at high risk of getting breast cancer, but maybe like me, can't believe that the percentages apply to them! Dr. Susan Love's - great name! - Breast Book is the book to which to turn, for everyone who faces treatment for breast cancer.

Dr. Love explains new research, and treatments of all sorts. She covers long-standing and emerging topics, like environmental effects and genetic research. Get this book for the women you love, and the men in high risk families.

 

The Wide Scope of Breast Health for us all

"All women have them and yet, few women truly understand them. Now we have bOObs, A Guide to Your Girls. This is the ultimate guide to breasts. It is estimated that 85% of women in the US wear the wrong bra size and many women expect their breasts to betray them, either with age or through illness.

bOObs takes the mystery out of breast health, awareness, and perception and celebrates the unique individuality of women of all ages, races, and cultures. Each chapter contains web and written resources, plus illustrations and sidebars with entertaining information on little known facts, trivia, and the best breast trends.

Filled with personal, true stories ("mammoirs"), readers are given practical and useful advice from breast experts-lingerie fitters, clothing manufacturers, doctors, personal trainers, and others-on what to expect from their breasts and how to put their "best breast forward."

During Treatment I Walked Every Day - every day that I was able

Skechers Women's Shape Ups Breast Cancer Awareness Walking Shoe
Skechers Women's Shape Ups Breast Cancer Awareness Walking Shoe

Show your support of Breast Cancer Awareness while obtaining a better walking workout in this shoe from Skechers' Shape Ups line.

 

Me, Without Hair, a BreastCancerWarrior - no one told me I'd lose my eyelashes and eyebrows - all of it

Sure look happy, don't I! My aunt and my cousin's family had come for a visit from out of state, and I was loopy from chemo. Each day I did one of my Chemo Journal Drawings. A friend from Arizona sent me a wonderful wig, but some days I had a "hothouse head" and couldn't withstand even a silk scarf over my scalp, so pride went out the window, in favor of loving companionship. Thanks to God, family and friends are the core of any treatment.

What Do Hats Have to do with Breast Cancer

ERB 19375 Americana Cap Style Hard Hat with Slide Lock, Pink
ERB 19375 Americana Cap Style Hard Hat with Slide Lock, Pink

Featuring a moisture wicking brow pad that is removable, washable and replaceable. The accessory slots accommodate a wide variety of eye, face and hearing products. This hard is certified when the headband is installed in the reverse position. This hat features a functional rain trough and accommodated a chin strap. The suspension also has retaining slots for your goggles.

This hard hat is SEI Certified. The Slide-Lock suspension easily adjusts to over 40 different head sizes between 6-1/2 and 8. The material of the suspension is specially formulated for pliable comfort and strength. It also provides a smooth friction-free sliding action.

 

An Anchor in your Personal Library - share the breast cancer prevention and detection story

Breast Cancer Awareness Gift Bag Items

Every woman, from a patient or person who has already completed treatment, to your neighborhood coffee klatch, or work group, will appreciate a reminder to be mindful of the work being done to raise awareness about breast cancer - screening, testing, and treatment.

Prepare gift bags for your favorite group, and give the donations to a local research or support organization. Your friends or co-workers will take home a tangible reminder of the one with breast cancer, or a reminder to join in a research walk.

Breast Cancer Father's Journal - poetry, like Wendi's, notes, your stories, your insight

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    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      @KimGiancaterino: Cancer in all its forms is such a challenge. It's good that his friend has friends like you for comfort and support. God bless and uplift you all.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

      My husband's best friend is going the chemotherapy now, so we appreciate learning ways to support someone in that situation. We spent most of today at a cancer hospital and it was pretty sad.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 6 years ago

      We will lick it one day