My goal all along has been to put this experience behind me as fast as possible before carrying on with life as normal. The cost is insane, the trauma has been considerable. I wish both had been less. But given my options, I am comfortable with my choice. I wish there had been another option, though. I wish there was a way of eliminating these cells without taking out so much of my body. I wonder how long it’ll be till that option exists?The Guardian’s Emma Gilbey Keller • Discussing her 40-day ordeal with breast cancer, which ended abruptly, after she chose to get a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery — a process that was not cheap but prevented a prolonged process. A pretty crazy read, but one that you most definitely should read. (via Katie Rogers)
Susan Komen would not give in to bullies or fear. Too bad the foundation bearing her name did.Writer Judy Blume • Discussing the decision by Susan G. Komen for the Cure to cut off its funding to Planned Parenthood, because the organization was under investigation by a governmental organization — a decision met with much frustration and derision from Komen critics, who saw it as a transparent push to move away from a group associated with abortions, though associated with many other things. This has not been a banner day for the Komen foundation, which has raised $1.9 billion for breast cancer research and programs, but may have hurt its long-term reputation with the move — founder Nancy Brinker (whose sister was Susan G. Komen) was grilled by Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC today over the change. With word flying that the group changed its rules to specifically target Planned Parenthood (the “governmental organization” is Rep. Cliff Stearns, a noted anti-abortion activist) and an alleged shift to the right among its staff, activists feel that, with this move, the organization is politicizing a cause that otherwise has wide support. Thoughts? source (via • follow)
I had planned to be hiking in Wyoming last week, but instead discovered that I am now among the 1 in 8 women in this country — incredibly 1 in 8 — who have had breast cancer.NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell • Making her diagnosis public on her MSNBC show Andrea Mitchell Reports. She says her prognosis for recovery is “terrific,” as the cancer was detected in a very early stage, and her subsequent advocacy for cancer screenings is worth taking to heart: “…screening matters. Do it. This disease can be completely curable if you find it at the right time.” source (via • follow)
» Even though lots of people liked the drug, the FDA has decided that it shouldn’t be used to treat breast cancer. However, European regulators allowed its use (as long as it was with another drug) at essentially the same time — which begs the question, why would the FDA be taking a drug off the market that so many people felt so passionate about?
Avastin saved my life…The studies are saying, they’re saying that people didn’t live for more than five months, you know. And there has to be other people like me that it works on.Kerry Harrington, a breast cancer survivor • Arguing for the case for Avastin, a drug still being tested that treats breast cancer. The drug received accelerated approval for treating breast cancer, but now the FDA is backing away from allowing the drug for breast cancer treatment. This is mainly because Avastin has some pretty horrible side effects, like heart attacks and kidney damage. Many women are saying that the pros outweigh the cons — they’d rather deal with the side effects and know they’re treating their cancer. The FDA will decide after they hear testimony from patients and review other official data. source (via • follow)
» A huge step forward: The study, which involved 4,500 people, represents progress towards a safe-to-take drug that prevents breast cancer in at-risk patients. While anti-estrogen drugs already exist on the market, they’ve had pretty horrific side effects that discourage their use. So far, aromatase inhibitors don’t have any of these side effects — but it’s important to note that there haven’t been long-term studies with this, either. (This is the first time researchers tested an aromatase inhibitor tested clinically.) However, it’s still encouraging and worth keeping an eye on.
» And for the ACLU, there was much rejoicing: The American Civil Liberties Union had taken on the case of two middle school girls suspended from school for wearing breast cancer awareness bracelets with “I (heart) boobies” written on them. In a preliminary ruling, federal judge Mary McLaughlin said they “can reasonably be viewed as speech designed to raise awareness of breast cancer and to reduce stigma associated with openly discussing breast health.”