I got a sad letter this week begging me to warn the women in my life about metastatic breast cancer. So here's her story for the women in my life.
She's a member of my church, but living out of state while she settles the estate of her deceased daughter--nothing a woman in her late 80s would expect to be doing. I remember about 5 years ago her daughter came to Columbus to help her mom recover from a stroke. My friend's daughter had had annual mammograms for years, and nothing was found--probably due to very dense breast tissue and the location under her arm. But she did have a lot of pain the last 5 years and was being treated for arthritis. By the time she was properly diagnosed the cancer had metastasized to both hips, her spine, liver and lymph system. This cancer is not curable, and no one dies from cancer that stays in the breast, but if she'd been properly diagnosed 5 years ago, she could possibly be alive. That's not a given, however.
All women have been educated about detecting breast cancer and screening--in fact, the lion's share of that money you donate and raise in walks, runs, and selling pink stuff, goes for education and not research that could actually save your life. I've looked at several websites about this and personal stories, and this one is pretty clear. Read the comments.