By Sophie Grasvo
As some of you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I encourage all women to have their annual screening. You should know what is normal for you and make informed decision about your health. Every 3 minutes another woman is diagnosed with this terrible disease. Breast Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death among women today. In the U.S. breast cancer death rates are higher thank those of any other cancer, besides lung cancer which is the 2nd and is most common other thank skin cancer
According to the American Cancer Society “about 1.3 million women will be diagnosed with it and 465,000 will die from it”. About 1 in 36 die in the U.S. alone. There were 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women in 2013 according to ACS and 39,620 deaths.
The best advice I can give you being a 10-year survivor myself is to go and get screened. The 5-year survival rate for breast cancer caught early is 98% and when not caught early drops to 23%. A woman has a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. Every woman and man needs to be informed about his or her risk and their options so they can make informed decisions about their care. For me there is NO EXCUSE for not getting screened. Had I not been diligent in getting my exams every year I would not be here to write these articles today? I was diagnosed with stage 2 invasive breast cancer in 2003 and was quite shocked by the news, for it doesn’t run in my family.
After undergoing a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, I am cancer free 10 years! Yes I live with it everyday and hope I never returns. There are many places to get screened in the treasure valley and there are also free mammograms available. St Luke’s and St Al’s both have mobile units that come to towns and they are awesome you can call: 208-706-2055 to schedule an appointment. I strongly urge all women to get their mammograms annually; it could save your life.
I would like to thank the wonderful and caring staff at MISTI in meridian for all their support over the years. My nurses, Andrea, Alice, Betsy, Greg and dear Sara have a special place in my heart. To my husband Aldis and son Eriks for always being there for me and for always participating in the Race for the cure every May. Just remember know your risk, get screened and together we can get rid of this disease.