Skip to main content

"What you gon' do with all that breast, all that breast inside that shirt?"

So what are you going to do with those lumps? ;-)

I only ask because of the recent news stories concerning the new recommendations on breast cancer screenings- recommendations that reduce the number of preventative screenings suggested for women in the younger bracket of diagnosis, from age 40-60.

The US Preventative Services Task Force (who according to CNN.com does not have any oncologists on it's panel) is suggesting that mammography causes "risks" such as anxiety over the need for further testing, discomfort of performing the test itself (ie, breast compression), and the idea that the results if a mammogram are inexact, and further testing could conclude that there is no breast cancer. There is also the suggestion that there are not "enough" lives saved by mammography in women ages 40-60.

The Task Force is also coming down on breast self-exams, stating that these exams, recommended monthly by cancer experts, do no good.

You may ask "Why does Brie give a crap about all of this? Why isn't she just whining about her last trimester, as usual?"

My family has a significant history with breast cancer. My maternal grandmother, Minerva, died of breast cancer in her 40's,leaving my own mother motherless at the age of 8, only to watch all of her aunts succumb to the disease as she grew into an adult, the last being my Aunt Evelyn when I was a sophomore in high school. The daughters of all of those beautiful women have fought breast cancer (with the exception of- by the grace of God- my own mother). My amazing Mom-Mom, my father's mother, fought and beat breast cancer in her 70's.

And despite the fact that my mother has been and remains free of breast cancer, despite the odds against her, she doesn't just sit back and rely on her luck. She has been amazingly proactive in the fight against breast cancer, taking part in a number of groundbreaking studies and medical trials.

I have seen first-hand that being proactive can be a lifesaver in the case of breast cancer. Will detecting cancer very early be a 100% guarantee that a patient will be cured, or not have a very aggressive form of cancer? Of course not. Nothing is 100% when it comes to medicine, and anyone who thinks so is fooling themselves. But, that said, I have spent half a lifetime surrounded by amazing women who have been willing to fight cancer toe-to-toe by being proactive, educated, and aggressive in their vigilance over the disease.

(Also of note, this article discussing the incidence of breast cancer is teens and tweens. Young women are developing breasts at an earlier age compared to decades before, and as long as the tissue is there, there is a risk of cancer, although much less so then in a fully grown adult, of course.)

Obviously, this new research is not going to be the be-all and end-all of breast cancer prevention and treatment. It will require women to be more communicative with their physicians in determining the need for mammograms and other preventive measures such as genetic testing. Making sure the lines of communication between a women and her physician can only be a good thing. You are only one person, and it is just as much up to you as it is up to your doctor to determine the best course of medical care for you.

Read some of these articles. What is your opinion?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My LTYM Experience or How I Accidentally Ended Up On A Stage

The final chapter of my participation in the Listen To Your Mother Show ended with our live performances. I turned 39 on May 3rd and on May 7th, I was on a stage at the beautiful South Orange Performing Arts Center with 12 other souls  (as well as our incredible producers, Sandy, Brooke and Deborah) that handily out-shined the beauty of the space. It all still feels as if it may have been a dream. A very gratifying, emotional dream.

It ended the same way it began, with my worrying about clothes. Before our first rehearsal, I was stressing out knowing that the next morning, I would be meeting a room full of strangers. Not only that, I would be taking a cast picture with these strangers and reading a story of the worst moments of my life. It seemed like too much to be vulnerable about my story and about my precarious self-esteem at the same time.

Despite all of that, I got into my car on a Saturday morning, armed with coffee and the soundtrack to "Hamilton." Clad in the pink a…

Maybe I'm An A-Hole, But I'll Pass On The Pity Date

Do not hate me for this one, guys.

It would seem that "Prom-posals" are the new thing. It's when one teen asks another to prom, but makes it an event. Balloon bouquets, flash-mobs, celeb cameos, flower arrangements- some of these put my actual marriage proposal to shame, much less my awkward heywannagotoprom conversation I had with the guy I was dating my senior year.

It just occurred to me that I should dig up one of my prom pictures. {shudder}

Anyway, back to proms. These extravagant invites have become the stuff of YouTube videos everywhere and, even thought I think the way these have become over-the-top is kind of insane, I'm totally along for the ride. Roses in math class? A flock of minstrels from the glee club to serenade a prom hopeful? I will watch the shit out of that. I think the romanticism is sweet.

At some point, I start to think about PJ as a prom-goer. Right now, while he's in kindergarten, it's hard to know if that's in the cards for him.…

There's still much to learn, so many dreams to earn...

{...stream of consciousness}

Today is April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, and it is Autism Awareness Month.

The month begins on the heels of news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Autism is on the rise. 1 in 68 children in the areas followed by the CDC are identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, up from 1 in 88 just a few years ago. In New Jersey, the numbers are far higher then the national average at 1 in 45. 

You can view a summary of the latest CDC report here, but there are two points of the report that stood out to me:
Less than half (44%) of children identified with ASD were evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they were 3 years old.Most children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as age 2.Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
PJ was diagnosed with Autism shortly after his second birthday. Pete and I had already utilized an e…