October is breast cancer awareness month, so we’re shedding light on this particular type of cancer.
It’s also important to remember that men can be diagnosed with breast cancer as well. Screening for men is not often prescribed, so all men should be aware of how to perform a self-check. Here’s a how-to guide.
Breast Cancer Facts
According to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute,
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, but only 5-10 percent of breast cancer cases are hereditary. Of those cases, roughly 20-25 percent are linked to mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes (BRCA stands for BReast CAncer susceptibility).”
Stories from Breast Cancer Patients
Many breast cancer patients and survivors have shared their stories in order to spread awareness of this type of cancer, the symptoms that led to their diagnosis, their treatment experience, and their life as breast cancer survivors. Here are some of those stories.
“I read a poem called ‘The Dash.’ Essentially, it’s about how you’re given your birthday and your death day, and in between those two is the dash. And what do you do with that dash? You’ve got to make sure you live every moment. I’m working on my dash every day.”
Most people wouldn’t say, “Get out of town!” when they find out they have cancer, but those were the first words out of Andy Sealy’s mouth.
Andy was 36, and, until that point, was as healthy and carefree as could be. She worked, played with her dog, hung out with friends. Breast cancer never crossed her mind.
After feeling a lump in her breast, Andy scheduled an appointment with her OB/GYN. Between that time and the appointment, she noticed another one.
Getting Through My Worst-Case Scenario
The worst weeks of my life had finally come to an end. It had been six weeks since my lumpectomy. Six terrifying weeks, living with many unknowns, in a state of complete disillusionment. But the wait was finally over because today I would meet my medical oncologist for the first time, she would go over my pathology report, and reveal my treatment plan.
Making Mammography a Priority
On one of those warm autumn afternoons when people in Michigan savor the last bits of summer, Anita Millers walked home from a physical therapy session at Henry Ford Medical Center-Cottage in Grosse Pointe Farms, just weeks after a knee replacement. She stopped when she saw a big blue mobile mammography bus in the medical center parking lot. The fall colors – orange, gold and red – created a perfect background. She checked the lighting and snapped a photo.
Greg: Breast Cancer Survivor
As a 39 year old man, the last thought on Greg DeMarco’s mind was that he could be diagnosed with breast cancer. In October of 2010, he noticed a stain on the dark colored shirt he was wearing, but thought he must have spilled coffee without realizing it. Several days later, he noticed the stain again, and this time realized it was blood and that it was coming from his left nipple. Worried that something serious might be wrong, he scheduled an appointment with his general practitioner for the next day.
Roberta: Breast Cancer Survivor
When Roberta Lombardi was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2016, she had no idea her journey would result in a new organization, Infinite Strength, — the foundation she created whose mission is to make medical treatments more accessible for all breast cancer patients.