Look & Feel of Breast Cancer

Going Viral

The photo has been around for at least a year, but a recent trend on Facebook involving posting a single heart as a post to represent breast cancer awareness frustrated someone enough to push this photo to go viral to get real information in front of everyone. No secret explanations of posted hearts for her. Most would pass them by and not ask what they mean.

It must be working because the links she shared have crashed at the moment. Even knowyourlemons.com is down. I found a similar image with much more information, though.

What does breast cancer feel like? What does breast cancer look like? When should I do breast self exams (BSE)? When should I get a mammogram?

A few months ago, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Stage 1B breast cancer and has completed four rounds of chemo. I think she’s in some sort of holding pattern as they plan the next step. If I remember correctly, that will be radiation weekly for 6-8 weeks.

Shortly after that, my cousin (at just 41) was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer of a different type (invasive ductile carcinoma) and is currently undergoing chemo. Though they have different types, they are both considered triple negative. My cousin’s Ki-67 (proliferation rate) is very high. She has opted to have a double mastectomy.

All of the types and stages and everything on a pathology report is enough to make you dizzy!

They say one in eight (I’ve also heard one in ten) women will develop breast cancer. Early detection is your best chance of surviving. Don’t skip annual mammograms thinking that last year’s test was fine and it will never happen to you.

Monthly self-exams can be deceiving if you have fibrocystic breast disease. This requires an ultrasound as well as a mammogram for a closer look.

Check ’em ladies!

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