Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Breast Cancer & Living
Re: Breast Cancer & Living
Wed, 10 Feb 1999 08:33:31 -0500
In what I believe to have been a personal response, someone wrote:
> There are basically three different types of breast cancer. Two are slow growers,
> one is not. The
> consensus is that mammograms are good, but in the case of the two slow
> growers, they don't give much benefit. As these are relatively benign and
> you could have waited for a monthly self-exam to find it. In the case of
> the third one, it doesn't do much good, either.
I'd beg to differ with this relatively negative assessment on
mammograms. Time is life.
The fact was that my wife had to be encouraged that year to have her
annual mammogram - previous ones had been negative. My wife's cancer
was pre-menopausal, and she was in a "low-risk" grouping with no family
The "luck" was in the quality of the technician who spotted the growths
despite their relative smallness. The "spots" on the X-ray film less
than pin-head size. The estimates were that it would have been months,
if not years, for them to be palpable by breast self-examination. It
can take 5-6 years for breast cancer to reach a palpable "pea" size.
The earlier the detection, the fewer the cells, the less likelihood that
one or more will "break-loose" and metastasize into other areas. Only
mammograms, with quality assessments, can assure this early a
detection. My advice would be to drag your "significant other" to a
doctor for a "baseline" assessment, and every year thereafter over the
age of 40.
Drop a quarter ($0.25) a day into a cookie jar if your HMno doesn't
cover annual examinations. You won't miss that quarter, but you will
miss your "significant other".
Incidently, men can develop breast cancer.