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  • 2010 November 22
    From the daily archives: Monday, November 22, 2010

    This may be a rant.

    I was roaming around on the internet, looking up Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  I am always curious, because there is a lot of useful information and a lot of misinformation.  I ran across an article by a doctor, entitled, “Inflammatory video about Inflammatory Breast Cancer”.  Her goal was to ease women’s minds, because the video was “exaggerated” and was causing “unwarranted” fear.  She pointed out that since IBC only affects about 3,000 women a year in the United States,  it is unlikely to be a concern for most women.

    I left her a piece of my mind!  Alas, I cannot find the thing again to cite it for you.  I think that’s a good thing.

    This doctor also pointed out that the symptoms were just like symptoms many women have that are usually nothing to worry about.  This was causing undue fear, she said.

    Lady, this is why that video on IBC is so bloody important!

    Nobody is saying that if you have a rash on your breast it is certainly IBC and you are going to die.  What women absolutely must know is that if such a thing appears and does not go away in a timely manner and as expected (for example, if a woman, or a man for that matter, has been given antibiotics for an infection) then it needs to be checked out A.S.A.P.  to rule out IBC.

    The woman I was weeping about the other night was nursing her sixth child when IBC snuck up on her.  She let it go because it was logical to have mastitis when she was nursing.  She didn’t know about IBC.  If she had, she may not have freaked out or she may have, but she would have had it looked at right away, and maybe she would be alive today.  I’m sorry I never knew her.  Reading her blog, I know I would have liked her.

    Does an “insignificant” number like 3,000 a year mean we can ignore it, because it probably wont touch us?  Given the statistics on IBC, this means that between 1,500 and 2,250 of these women will be dead, most probably within 2-5 years.  Is that “insignificant”????  Not to my children, it isn’t!

    Where did we get the idea that anybody suffering a little discomfort is a bad thing?

    World hunger makes me uncomfortable.  Shall I ignore it?  How about global warming?  How about stupid wars?

    Her2+ cancer is also less prevalent than hormone responsive cancer.  It’s a good thing that the doctor who developed herceptin thought it was important.  If he had not, I would not likely be alive today, neither would several of my friends ( most of whom I have yet to meet ).

    When fear may help you, it is a worthwhile experience.  Because children are taught to fear moving vehicles, they look both ways when they cross the street.  If women learn by whatever means to fear IBC, they will not take “no” for an answer when strange symptoms show up and don’t go away.

    Too many women today don’t fear breast cancer.  Such strides have been made that a huge percentage of women survive it.  We think we can relax on our mammograms, our breast self exams, etc.  When my mom would talk with her friends about my disease, several of them thought it was really no big deal.  I guess that was more comfortable for them.

    And when not to fear?   When it doesn’t have the potential of doing you any good.  I am so thankful to this day that when it was really critical, I was not afraid.

    Let both fear and faith be empowering.

     
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