Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘early detection’

         Today the interview with Christina Applegate aired which told of her diagnosis of breast cancer…she apparently has the breast cancer gene BRCA1.  She seems very upbeat and proactive in her approach.  Her mother is a breast cancer survivor…so, Christina has been getting testing since she was thirty years old…she is 36 now.  So she knew early on that she was to remain vigilant in her testing because of family history.  This is a good thing because she was able to be diagnosed very early.

        Christina chose to be very proactive and had a double mastectomy.  It sounds as though people with BRCA1 are at more of a risk of developing cancer in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or the prostrate.  It is thought that with the BRCA1 gene (there are over 600 mutations that researchers have discovered) that it some how develops a protein that doesn’t work properly to suppress tumor development. 

           In reading some of the comments left on ABC’s website in regards to the interview Robin Roberts did with Christina…some of the people were skeptical of her declaring herself 100% cancer free.  Many of the commenters are cancer survivors who also thought themselves free of cancer and they have been through multiple levels of treatment and surgeries.  If it is an encouragement to herself then, so what?  Encouragement and discouragement are seperated by just a breadth of a hair width! I think the consensus is that after only a month; some of them felt it was irresponsible of her to say that she is cancer free.  While i understand that it is a milestone for her to say that and feel it…it is important to also remind people…that being cancer free after a bout with cancer is about remaining vigilant; about testing, and, about follow up with proper medical advice and guidance.  Christina is not an ignorant person…she is just choosing to focus on the positives of the moment.  What cancer patient doesn’t try to do that?  It is a survival skill to be thankful for the positive things in a negative situation!

          Some of the commentors were just a little shy of hostility…some, i think were hinting that she is in denial…there were also, well wishers.  What i liked when i heard the interview, was that Christina is pledging to work towards raising funds to go towards funding genetic testing and MRI’s, for those who can’t afford it, which is extremely helpful in early detection.  She is also going to be involved in a televised special called “Stand Up To Cancer” which will include many “stars”.  Raising awareness and funds, i believe will be the goal. 

            One thing to remind ourselves of, is that cancer doesn’t discriminate between people of wealth and those who have none.  It is an equal opportunity destroyer.  However, finances can make all of the difference in diagnosis, treatment; and, the ability to eat right to heal; as well as, having enough money to afford insurance and transportation to and from medical appointments.   This is all real life issues for people around the world. 

        Let’s remember for Christina, this is all new…she just had the surgery 3 weeks ago.  If she is choosing to be hopeful and positive that is a good thing.  Yes, to be fair…not everyone has the money to get the diagnostic testing available to her…nor, are most people able to get surgery scheduled so quickly and have “experts” on treatment available for immediate consultation.  Let’s not begrudge her, or anyone, that blessing.  

          Christina is saying that she will have reconstructive surgery and have “cute boobs when she is 90”.  Many people don’t have the funds for that either…Christina is blessed and i think she is aware of that.  It is unfortunate that we all don’t have that financial blessing as well.   In an ideal world, any person afflicted with the disease would be able to choose treatment and reconstruction without regard for cost; unfortunately, it is sad that it is not so! 

           It is hard enough going through diagnosis, treatment and the physical and emotional ups and downs without being able to have reconstruction surgery if you want it.  Grieving the loss of your breasts is very natural but, if you want the reconstructive surgery and can’t afford it; it only adds to the pain and loss.  Healing is more than body; it is mind and spirit as well.  Christina will understand that in giving interviews, sensitivity directed towards other patients who aren’t as blessed financially is important too.  Of course, none of us knows what was edited out of the interview, by others, because of time constraints…all i am saying is, give benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.    Here is a link to a foundation that Christina is behind:  http://www.rightactionforwomen.org/

        What Christina has going for her is her youth, early diagnosis, family support, and a platform to educate young women that they are at risk even though they are young.  I say, don’t bring doom and gloom on her for how she handles her health.  Yes, she can educate in a variety of ways…and as long as she has a platform; she needs to do her best to pass accurate information on to others if she is going to address the issue.  It is wise to point out, that she says she was not ready to go public with the information about her battle with breast cancer…but as always…rogue media was breaking the news and they were also publishing random rumors, many without truth.  She felt the need to correct those. 

         People should have a right to privacy if they choose it in regards to their personal private health information.  As she adjusts to the changes in her life, she has the ability to be an amazing advocate for cancer patients.  In the meantime, wish her well…help her fund-raise to educate, inform, and enable those who cannot afford genetic testing and MRI’s which both can be very expensive and exclude many patients from taking advantage of them.  

          Life is too short to spread negativity…in your own life as well as the lives of others.  Cancer is a thief and has stolen enough from us all…let’s channel energy into fighting the real enemy…Cancer!  See also:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/christina-applegate-robin-roberts-interview/ or topic related to breast cancer:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/ or https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/05/16/women-are-dying-for-size-of-level-d-when-it-comes-to-breasts/

Advertisements

Read Full Post »