The first slap

The first slap
This photo was taken the day after I was diagnosed, and it is my first bitch slap at cancer. I'm the one with the icepack symbolically placed on my boob. My teammates changed our team's uniform to pink at the last minute, and I came off the soccer field that night with one goal and a whole lot of love. Several of these women are my close friends, but they are all warriors, and they all helped me set the tone for this fight.

Monday, December 30, 2013

New York Times Opinion Piece on Breast Cancer Screenings

Hi, everyone. I am very curious to know what you all (in particular, you women and health care professionals out there) think about this NYT opinion piece on breast cancer screenings.

I know that if you are reading this, you may be more interested in what I think about it, but honestly, I'm still not 100% sure. I place myself in the estimated 0-3% mentioned in this opinion piece whose lives are saved by regular screenings, which does sort of make me lean toward a low threshold approach. In this approach, women regularly get mammograms and red flags are pursued, meaning additional screening measures. Arguably, this more traditional approach has saved my life. I did not end up here in the "Chemotherapy Suite" at Carle Hospital (I'm actually writing this as Taxol is dripping into my body) because I found a lump two years ago. Rather, I'm here because of regular screenings and follow-ups to monitor what doctors initially thought might be just a benign calcification. Although the cancer is in my lymph nodes, it was still caught relatively early via mammogram and sonogram.

At the same time, I DO see both perspectives, particularly when we consider the money involved and the physical and psychological effects of the procedure and false positives on women and their family members. In general (abstracted from my personal experience), I am not a fan of overtreatment and what the author identifies as overdiagnosis. So, I really would love to hear from people, even as I sit here getting chemo.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you Lara. I can see benefits of both perspectives and we just don't have enough information/knowledge to truly say that one way makes more sense than the other. If I absolutely had to choose sides, I think I'd rather deal with high costs, misdiagnoses, and false positives and all the related anxiety than miss out on a diagnosis that saved a life. Cathrine


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