Friday, October 1, 2010


October rolls around each year and ordinary people put out fall stuff and think about pumpkins and Halloween.  Me - I think PINK!  Yes people say that the pink ribbon floods the market - well guess what?  October awareness and that pink ribbon are a big part of why I was diagnosed.  That constant in my face awareness made me think about the mammogram that I needed.  It reminded me constantly that I was needing to see the Doctor.  So, I am going to make an attempt to put up some good information this month as well as some personal experiences.

The very first organization that I turned to was The Young Survival Coalition.  I was 37 years old and trying to figure out all of the facts and statistics.  I didn't do this immediately.  God carried me through several months before I was ready to be educated.  I didn't only want to treat the now I wanted to take care of those future cells that would dare invade my body.  I wanted to live and live free of cancer. I kept replaying in my mind that the first Doctor that I pointed out my lump to brushed me off and told me I was young and it was probably an enlarged duct gland.  Well HELLO - you won't catch me falling for something like that again in this lifetime.  I cringe like mad when I hear someone say their doctor is going to "watch" something.  Oh - my word - my word - my word - for crying out loud what do you have to lose to cut it out.  Watch it grow in a JAR if you want to watch it grow.  I want to be educated - I want to know when to push and when to accept the answer as it is given.  We know that mistakes are made - we make them as do Doctors and other professionals.  The best way I know how to handle things is Education - Education - Education. 

So - get out your pink - wear that ribbon proudly.  Get your mammies grammied ladies.  (and remember men do get breast cancer)  October is a wonderful time of the year to get a mammogram - lots and lots of places offer reduced prices during this month.  It is a WIN WIN. 

Today's Spotlight:

Young Women and Breast Cancer

Young women CAN and DO get breast cancer. While breast cancer in young women accounts for a small percentage of all breast cancer cases, the impact of this disease is widespread: There are more than 250,000 women living in the U.S. who were diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40 or under1, and approximately 10,000 young women will be diagnosed in the next year2. But, despite the fact that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 15 to 543:

◦Many young women and their doctors are unaware that they are at risk for breast cancer.

◦There is no effective breast cancer screening tool for women 40 and under.

◦Young women are often diagnosed at a later stage than their older counterparts.

◦There is very little research focused on issues unique to this younger population, such as fertility, pregnancy, genetic predisposition, the impact of hormonal status on the effectiveness of treatment, psycho-social and long-term survivorship issues and higher mortality rates for young women, particularly for African-Americans and Latinas.

◦Young women diagnosed with breast cancer often feel isolated and have little contact with peers who can relate to what they are experiencing.

◦As the incidence of young women with breast cancer is much lower than in older women, young women are underrepresented in many research studies.

For all these reasons YSC encourages young women to become advocates for their own health and become educated about breast cancer.

On the pages of this website, you will find information and resources for and about young women affected by breast cancer. Click on the navigation bar on the left to:
◦Access the bulletin boards and chat rooms to join a community of other young women living with the disease.
◦Learn about breast cancer in young women and find informational and support resources, local, national and international, for these women and their families.
◦Gain insight into the lives of young women living with the disease through our survivor stories.
◦See our real-time profile of young women who register on the site highlighting the demographic and disease characteristics of our survivor constituency.

These pages bring to you a community of young women affected by breast cancer. We hope you will return time and time again for more information, to ask more questions and to find the peer support for which you have been looking.
1 Figure based on the 2000 U.S. Census data.
2 American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts and Figures 2008.
3 National Cancer Institute 2005 Fact Book.

All of this information and much much more can be found here at the Young Survivor Coalition. 

Most recently I joined the Army of Women.  I want to be included in any research that my help find a cure for the beast.  I would love to know "why" and be able to keep other women and men from being affected by this disease. 
Today is Blog for Your Breasts Day. I took the pledge on  Go check it out and and join millions of women joining together for a cure.  Get involved.  Your involvement may save lives in the future. 

What is the Army of Women?

The Love/Avon Army of Women (AOW) is a unique program of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit breast cancer research organization. The program is funded through a grant from the Avon Foundation for Women. The AOW provides an opportunity for men and women to take part in breast cancer research studies aimed at determining the causes of breast cancer – and how to prevent it. The AOW is a groundbreaking initiative that connects breast cancer researchers via the internet with women who are willing to participate in a wide variety of research studies. The goal of the Army of Women is to recruit ONE MILLION MEN AND WOMEN of all ages and ethnicities, including breast cancer survivors and those who have never had breast cancer.

I love you guys and want you to be aware!  Young women CAN and DO get breast cancer.  Get involved!  Join me in my army!


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Toyin O. said...

Thanks for sharing; will be wearing that pink ribbon. Great post.

Ginny Marie said...

Congratulations on being 8 1/2 years cancer free, and here's to many, many more!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for spreading such an important message, Diane. Congratulations on being a beautiful breast cancer survivor!

Toyin O. said...

Hi Diane,

Hope and pray you are having a good day. Just wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and your gracious comment. Have a blessed day!

Margaret in the garden said...

I found your post very interesting as i have lost my niece to breast cancer 15 years ago.Her doctor also told her that because she finished nursing her baby that her duckts were swollen and to wait and see in about a month. When she returned she had 10 lumps and she made it through one and a half year and died the day before her twins turned one. She left 7 children and her husband behind.She was 32!

Anonymous said...

Love your website! It's wonderful!!
As a four-year survivor, I'm wearing my pink this month too. :)

Holly said...

I linked your shared post from May AGAIN! There's a Linky added from Things We Share that is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I've add that in, also. I think this would be a GREAT post to link to that one. So much GREAT information here!! (((HUGS)))