Mama Kat’s Writers Worskshop: Breast Cancer

I’m back on the Mama Kat bandwagon with this awesome propmt.

In an effort to spread awareness, share your (or someone you know/love) breast cancer story

My mother was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in 2001. She sat down with a surgeon to go over her treatment options and he laid out a few different scenarios. My mom, a nurse, was already sure what she wanted to do.

“Cut the fucker off,” mom said.

(That answers a lot of questions about how I got this way, huh?)

Breast cancer is not a joke.  The American Cancer Society estimates that 207,090 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and 39,840 will die of the disease. Breast cancer mortality is disproportionately high among minorities and low-income women because they tend not to have access to adequate screenings.  Screenings, which can catch breast cancer at earlier, more treatable stages, are life savers – breast cancer caught in local stages has a 98% five-year survival rate but if it is caught later and has the opportunity to spread through the body, the five-year survival rate drops to 23%.

My mother is cancer free now. Has been since the day of her mastectomy in 2001. But it’s the mammogram that spotted the cancer cells in their most localized stage that really saved her life.

The CDC administers a program called the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and treatment program that assists low-income and uninsured women in getting mammograms and Pap smears at no cost. It’s a drop in the bucket in terms of reaching all the women who need to be reached – right now that program is only able to serve 1 in 5 eligible women. But it’s a start. If you know a woman over 40 who needs a mammogram but hasn’t gotten one because of lack of insurance or lack of ability to pay, please tell them about this program. They can visit the website or call their state department of health to help them find a screening facility. If a woman is diagnosed with cancer through this program, there is also assistance in paying for treatment.

Breast Cancer Resources:

The American Cancer Society

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Treatment Program

Mama's Losin' It

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10 comments for “Mama Kat’s Writers Worskshop: Breast Cancer

  1. October 7, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I’m so happy that your mom is cancer free now. I am freaked out every time I get a mammogram…this disaase is no joke!

  2. October 7, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Congrats to your mom for kicking cancer’s butt! Great awareness post. My grandmother died of cancer that started in her breast back in the early 70s. I’ve always wondered that if we’d have had the awarness back then that we do now if she could have beat it. I’ll be having my first mammogram next year since I’ll be 40!

  3. October 7, 2010 at 11:35 am

    History of breast and ovarian cancer in my family, so I started my mammos at age 35. Woot!

  4. anthrogrrl
    October 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    There are two big billboards on the I-15 corridor advertising free pap smears and mammograms. Whenever I pass them, I am glad that those resources are available in my community!

  5. KLZ
    October 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I genuinely don’t know why people laugh at me for being religious about going to my annual check ups for….everything. It’s not hypochondria if I don’t think I have anything. I’m just being safe.

    And so should everyone else.

  6. October 7, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    This disease scares me so much, not just for myself but for the women I love. Thank you for such a lovely post. I’m glad your mom is okay.

  7. October 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Woo hoo for your mom! I love her style and I’m with her cut the fucker off. Dead w/a boob is not an option right? I loved your post. Thank you for sharing.

  8. October 8, 2010 at 12:22 am

    So glad to hear your mom is cancer free, and thank you for sharing.

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