Yesterday, after just over a year of treatment for stage III, triple positive breast cancer, I was given the all clear! I have envisioned writing this blog post that entire time. I am alive thanks to one thing and one thing only and that is advances in breast cancer research over the last 20 years.
The drug that made all the difference actually came to market in 1997. That drug is called Herceptin and it has radically increased the survival rate of women with triple positive breast cancer.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so this blog post is my public service announcement to everyone out there to make your health care a priority.
Haven't had time to register yourself with a primary care provider? I learned the hard way that this is not an option.
Haven't had time to schedule in your annual mammogram? I had my first mammogram at 43, the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Do not wait like I did.
Not sure of your family history of breast disease? I was, but had been told while living in the UK that the history on my father's side did not put me at higher risk for breast cancer. Guess what, that was wrong! Turns out I should have been having mammograms from the time I was 28. I wasn't.
Not sure of your actual risk level? Get informed.
Worried that you might have breast cancer but are scared of finding out? I can tell you from personal experience that you can weather any news you might get more gracefully than you could ever imagine. Early detection makes such a massive difference on both the treatment and the outcomes, do not put it off another day.
Bottom line, make October the month that you take action for yourself, for your family.
Here are a couple of links that might help:
Thank you for any and all donations to any breast cancer charities, I am alive thanks to the abundant research and attention that breast cancer has been given. It truly has made all the difference for so many families.