Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fight Breast Cancer - Get a Mammogram

"Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death, in terms of cancer, among women." Scott Thompson

Big diseases get a month of their own. October belongs to Breast Cancer and I'm on board. It's in our family. Among our friends. It's taken some, maimed others, affected us all.

Odds are, someone you know and love has had breast cancer too. I hope you didn't lose anyone, but odds are you--or someone you know--did.

Breast cancer is treatable in most cases. Especially--and this is KEY--if caught early.

Yet big drug companies, big insurance and other health care special interests haven't stepped up with big public campaigns to promote drugs, treatments--and most important--screenings for breast cancer.

Why not? Money. The next time you're watching TV, check out some of the ads and ask yourself if anybody you know ever died from Restless Leg Syndrome or PMS.

It's all about the bottom line. There's no significant profit margin on mammograms. In fact they can be obtained for little or no cost (info on that below). So there's no incentive to advertise mammography.

Non-profits like Susan G. Komen for the Cure have to carry the message and count on our donations to foot the bill for educating the public.

Because for all women, especially those over 40, there's a far more compelling bottom line: regular mammograms and other screenings lower our risk of dying from breast cancer.

You'd think that would be easy to understand. Let me say it again: a mammogram can save your life.

There are endless statistics on this, but I'll give you some personal anecdotal evidence that makes my point.

Of nearly twenty family members and friends with breast cancer, we've had four deaths. Two of those women finally succumbed to the disease years and years after screening and diagnosis, having lived long and happy lives.

Two others never did a self-exam. Never got mammograms. They just got breast cancer and each died within a year.

The new mammography machines are much more gentle. But even if your town doesn't have one, tough it out. A little discomfort once a year beats losing your life to breast cancer.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

great story - however, could someone please get the word out that heart disease is the biggest killer amongst women? everyone seems to only concentrate on the breast - lets concentrate on the heart!

2:57 AM  
Blogger Sally Swift said...

Good point, Tami, glad you made it. But this post is in response to National Breast Cancer Month, not because I think one disease is more worthy than another.

I've written already and will do again about heart disease, which is in our family too.

Unfortunately, we all need to keep hammering away with info about women's health issues, especially prevention, research and cure.

10:38 AM  

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