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« Guilt and Healthy Survivorship -- Part III | Main | The Case for Breast Self-Exam »

February 14, 2014

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Gillian V

But haven't they also told us that self-exam is not useful/important? I'm in a mammography screening program where I go every two years. It used to be a physical exam plus the mammo, now it's just the mammo.

Bill Kleine

Too emotional? All my guys are gone at Guilda's Group, both quite suddenly and two weeks ago; their livers you know... We were a cheery bunch on Wednesday. We stayed together for over 2 hours, but it seemed like minutes and an eternity. The ladies all have breast cancer and after we passed through the grief of death we talked of the other kinds of losses attached to disease. They each spoke with tears about how hard it is to look at themselves in the mirror each morning. There are powerful emotional factors that cause women to avoid this disease and to even rationalize a lump discovered by accident while showering--one friend denied her slowly growing lump for over a year. She is alive, but oh what she went through... And why avoid minor exams that save lives? Powerful, terrible things have happened to people with names I know, faces I see. I deplore this study. Categorically. Even without analyzing the math-a very tricking thing with a lot of subjectivity in parameter selection inherently involved. Make breast health routine, I say. I know real people who would be real dead if it simply hadn't been a routine part of their lives; some had cancers too diffuse or too deep to even be felt, and honestly there are a remarkable number of cells living in a tiny little lump. Only one of these women even knew she was in a high risk category. It would take a lot more than a study to change my logic in this. I have been with too many women who died from this disease by inches... Real people, no numbers in my formulation.

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