The stories here help provide hope in the struggle against breast cancer. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with a malignant tumor or know someone who has, these articles can help you realize you’re not alone. Please note that Dr. Higgins does not necessarily endorse or agree with the content. These are written from a personal point of view and are meant only to encourage all breast cancer patients and those who love them.
The BRCA Mutation and Beyond
Kate tested negative for BRCA, but positive for CHEK2. It’s another of the genetic factors that can heighten the risk of breast cancer — especially if there’s a history of cancer in the family. Rather than opt for a double mastectomy, though, Kate chose anti-hormone therapy. Her twin sister was diagnosed with breast cancer not long after Kate’s own diagnosis and treatment protocol. This article tells a bit about Kate’s story and may be helpful for you.
Mother’s Bravery Provides Lesson for Daughter
An Olympic medalist whose mother was a victim of metastatic breast cancer says her mother taught her “what is truly important in life.” See the video interview when you click here.
Artwork for Breast Cancer Awareness
The Wabash Valley Breast Cancer Survivors organization uses murals to raise awareness to their fundraising efforts. The group sells carnations every year to pay for mammograms and buy wigs for breast cancer patients. You can view a video of their most recent artwork when you click here.
What I Learned About Breast Cancer
This three-year survivor of ER+/PR+, HER2-, Stage IIA invasive lobular breast cancer shares five things she has learned on her “incredibly difficult yet rewarding journey.” By her 40th birthday, Megan-Claire Chase had been through16 rounds of chemo, eight surgeries, blood transfusion, 33 radiation treatments and was medically induced into menopause with a hysterectomy and oophorectomy. For her powerfully revealing story, click here.
Living with HER2 Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer
As is often the case, Terri’s diagnosis came as an unwelcome surprise. At first, it seemed the “weird” look to the skin on her breast wasn’t anything to be concerned about. After a lump formed, though, tests confirmed a tumor. Terri was diagnosed with HER2 breast cancer. Recent innovations in treatment options provided hope, and connecting with others who have experienced an MBC (metastatic breast cancer) diagnosis helped with mutual support. Terri’s message is clear: Advocate for yourself and remember: Life goes on, even after breast cancer. To read Terri’s story, click here.
Breast Cancer at 19: One in a Million
Miranda McKeon starred in the Netflix original, “Anne with an E.” This article has it right, when it says, “Her character’s strength and growth was impressive, but perhaps pales in comparison to McKeon’s real-life strength.” Miranda recently discovered she has stage 3 breast cancer. The reported treatment protocol calls for chemotherapy, infusions, radiation, and surgery.
Here’s what Miranda said in response:
My doctor was like, ‘Your stage doesn’t define you. And your cancer is your cancer.’ Which I appreciate because when you hear someone’s stage, your mind goes straight to one place or another and I don’t think that’s necessarily representative of what I’m going through. Although I don’t have the easiest case scenario, like I wish it hadn’t spread to my lymph nodes or that it was a little less complicated, I never had a moment where I was like, ‘Oh, am I going to die from this?’ That was never really a thought. I think this entire time it’s been more of like, ‘Okay, we’re going to treat this and solve it.’
Miranda, we wish you a successful treatment and speedy recovery. Your attitude is an encouragement to us all.
Can Lipstick Cause Breast Cancer?
Have you checked the ingredients in your facial health products lately? Dr. Deena Brown, a New Jersey oncologist, has this to say:
Lipstick, foundation and other beauty products can contain preservatives that have hormone-like properties and can act as hormone disruptors, altering our hormonal environment. Over time, these disruptors could potentially affect how estrogen and other hormones function in the body. In cases of large doses, these ingredients could theoretically promote tumors, including breast cancer.
Parabens and phthalates are among the substances currently under suspicion for a possible breast cancer link. Find out more in this Meridian Health article.
What Is Breast Reconstruction Really Like?
Laura Pike had no idea what her chest would look like afterwards, but she knew she needed to undergo surgery after being diagnosed with invasive lobular stage 2 breast cancer. Laura tried to find photos of post-mastectomy breasts, but found that a difficult thing to do on the internet. But she did find a local support group. With the encouragement from other women who were also concerned about how their breasts would appear after breast cancer treatment, Laura launched an Instagram account and called it “Empowered Mastectomy.” You can find the article about Laura’s journey in the Today article, “Woman documents breast reconstruction process to show others what it’s really like.”