the ills of medical media

I wrote this on my blogspot blog last october, but am happier with the wordpress format so am shifting things over…..

I read an article this morning that disturbed me and feel I need to share the reasoning’s.

I read a notion, a snippet in Prevention magazine that testified self-breast exams are needless and can lead to unnecessary biopsies. Prevention magazine actually wrote this…and after years of women having breast cancer, young women ignoring their bodies, and years of getting each other to pay attention to ourselves, the information changes.  This, in turn, risking the lives of many through irresponsible journalism.

Firstly, one does not get a biopsy just from their own personal diagnosis of feeling a lump. One goes to a doctor, gets a mammogram and a consult and THEN would get the biopsy. Additionally, the several young women that I have met who have or had breast cancer ALL found the lump themselves and are here today because of thier responsibility to themselves. I escaped all treatment due to my very early self-exam…noticing what was right and not right within my body was my blessing. I had already had my yearly exam 4 months earlier. Who knows what would have occurred in my body in the 8 months it would be until my next exam. Being present within my mind and having the courage to confront such a frightening possibility by way of learning from other women in my life, is the sole reason I did not have to subject my body to the trials of chemotherapy or anti-estrogen drugs.

Examining myself was something I never did, until I met a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 30s. She, like many other women, found the lump herself and shared this with me, and many others. We can pass the word, because unlike the writers and staff at Prevention magazine, we have the first hand knowledge of finding our own cancer. When your oncologist and surgeon and gynecologist tell you how proud they are of you for being mindful of your own body, I take that as a good thing. The writers at Prevention magazine should be ashamed of themselves for derailing a movement that has taken years to teach young women to be a part of…a movement of being mindful and knowing your own body. I personally think a letter of apology should be written to the mere 15% of us women who have saved our very own lives by touching our breasts.