What I choose to remember about Shirley Temple is that she lived for 41 years after having a mastectomy for breast cancer. In 1972 she spoke openly about her medical condition, and encouraged other women to seek medical care if they noticed a lump, and not to be afraid of the disease. She made it easier for us, today, to talk about breast cancer treatment and options.
What Deb did, and I thank her for this, is offer an extreme example of patient-centered care. Among other things, she did everything possible to assure that the people caring for her perceive her as a human being who loves dancing.
There’s no right answer…Jolie’s essay reflects the dilemma of any person making a medical choice based on their circumstances, values, genetic test results and what information they’ve been given or otherwise found and interpreted.
On Friday I visited the Scar Project exhibit at Openhouse, on Mulberry Street just south of Spring. Photographer David Jay offers penetrating, large, wall-mounted images of young people with breast cancer. The photos reveal women who’ve have had surgery, radiation, reconstruction or partial reconstruction of the breasts. Some are strikingly beautiful. Some appear confused, others […]
It’s a Pandora’s box, but one that needs be opened. The problem is that if we biopsy every abnormality – such as a minor thickening or fluid accumulation adjacent to a breast implant – we’ll hike up the costs and, more importantly, the complications associated: With every needle stick there’s a risk of infection, additional scar formation and more. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to overlook a treatable, early-stage lymphoma. Women need to know of the risks of implants, which can only be determined if doctors thoroughly investigate these sorts of complications.
The reality is that many women, particularly poor women without newspapers or internet access in their homes, don’t know about any of this. They don’t know their insurance covers pretty much all of these options, by law. Now they will, or should as of Jan 1, 2011. Good. The other curiosity is that …