A good friend of mine was just diagnosed with breast cancer this week. Last week, she had a mammogram, which showed she was clear. While watching TV one night, she felt a very small lump (about the size of a pea). At first, she thought it was nothing, but after a day or so, she decided to go back to the doctor.
She is now scheduled to have a double mastectomy.
As she told her story to me, it was like déjà vu. That is exactly what happened to me. I had a clear mammogram and then went on a vacation the next day with my family. Again, watching TV, I felt a lump. The only difference between us, is that I did not have a mastectomy. I had a lumpectomy, radiation, and the estrogen-blocker tamoxifen.
None of us can rely on only one form of detection. I have always been a big proponent of breast self-exams. In fact, I used to have plastic shower cards I passed out that showed how to do the exam. I should really bring those back.
My lump was above the line of the mammogram machine. I did think for a day that it couldn't be anything, because I had just had a mammogram.
Thank God I decided I should go in and have it looked at.
In the next couple of weeks, we will be celebrating Mother's Day. Each year, The Noreen Fraser Foundation makes free e-cards available which highlight some of the biggest names in comedy. The comedians remind moms of the importance of mammograms and pap smears.
Hopefully, we know by now that early detection is the best prevention.
You can find the free Mother's Day e-cards beginning May 1st at www.noreenfraserfoundation.org.