This is my second post in one week. Pretty certain you’re reading this and running in the other direction wondering what I want you to do now. I know, every time I post, I’m asking for you to do something but this one is really important (OK they are all really important). But this one is really really important and can seriously impact lives. Representative Deborah Wasserman Schultz introduced #HR1522 legislation into Congress which will establish Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer awareness week and make Wednesday of that week National Previvor Day. We need 100 co-sponsors in the house by August 2 and right now we have 20.
Please take action quickly for my good friend Sue Friedman–who left a career as a vet to start FORCE over a decade ago. Take action for so many of my friends who’ve learned they have a BRCA mutation and have taken preventative measures before they’ve gotten a cancer diagnosis. Take action for way too many women who are battling metastatic disease because they found their cancer too late or had a recurrence. Take action for all the young women diagnosed with cancer because BRCA strikes younger women and is much more aggressive. Take action for the young girls in our lives who need to know about hereditary cancer so they can live long, healthy cancer-free lives. Take action now because August 2nd is quickly approaching.
I just sat down to do some work tonight and was distracted by the federal government’s latest announcement. It seems that a task force has decided that women should wait until age 50 to get mammograms and it’s only necessary to get them every 2 years. They go on to say that breast self-exams do no good and women should not be taught to do them. I am outraged and furious at this latest advice. Earlier this month, I spoke to 3 women over the course of 3 days all in their thirties with a recent breast cancer diagnosis. And nearly every day, I hear of another young woman beginning a breast cancer fight.
Sure the guidelines are different for women with a family history or a genetic mutation but what about those of us that discovered a mutation only after we were diagnosed? I think everyone can agree that mammograms are not perfect but we need to find a better tool for screening younger women before we take away the one tool that actually works. And why debate breast self-exams and breast exams performed by doctors. A breast self-exam ultimately led to my diagnosis. Where would I be two and a half years later if I hadn’t discovered the tiny lump in my breast? Does the federal government care or are they just worried about increased costs of biopsies? Share your thoughts? We need to be advocates for our own health and make sure we are not negatively impacted by this latest advice.