Did you know that about 10,000 “young” women will get breast cancer this year? I do now. I am one of them.
It all started while my boyfriend and I were away for a long weekend to celebrate my 29th birthday. We were lying in bed and I reached my arm across my body. There it was — a lump, in my breast. It was big, and it was bumpy; it felt like a mutant cauliflower had taken root in the soft tissue of my otherwise pillowy breasts.
This was new. Three short months earlier, I had had a breast exam during my yearly OB-GYN exam. My doctor didn’t feel a thing. I had always been hyper aware of my breasts, ever since an ex-boyfriend found a 2 cm jelly bean (which turned out to be a harmless fyberadenoma) and my doctor had told me that I should pay attention to it and watch for changes.
That jellybean was my first of what would be many biopsies. Keep reading »
For all the talk about Miss America being a “scholarship program,” we all know that at its essence, it’s still more a beauty contest than anything else. And even though the definition of beauty has evolved in so many ways over the years, some notions of it have not changed. Which is why current Miss District of Columbia (and former Miss Maryland) Allyn Rose has received hate mail over her plans for a double mastectomy. It turns out some die-hard pageant fans feel that a woman without breasts can’t meet the requirements of the title.
Allyn is planning to get a double mastectomy after her year of service as Miss DC or Miss America is over. Her mom, grandmother, and aunt all died of the disease and she feels as though this is her best chance of beating it. The preventative mastectomy has long been a controversial choice for women. Some people bristle at the idea of removing your breast before there is a confirmed problem. But for Allyn, it’s the safest option for a healthy future. “For me, breast cancer is not a matter of if. It’s almost a matter of when,” she told “Today.” Read more…
Boing Boing co-editor Xeni Jardin was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and started treatment–a brutal trifecta of chemo, surgery, and radiation–in January. When she finally finished, her friend Michael mentioned that she deserved a medal for her accomplishment. And then he made her one, complete with an inscription declaring her the winner of the “Poison, Cut, Burn Tri.” Jardin was thrilled: “I want to give one to everyone I meet who makes it through to a similarly meaningful milestone in their cancer treatment,” she says. “This is so much better than a pink ribbon.” Keep reading »
This breast cancer PSA raises awareness the same way that naked models for PETA raise awareness about veganism — which is to say, not at all, really. It’s a shame that “Bridemaids”‘s Chris O’Dowd lent his talents to this spoof Coppafeel PSA for male breast cancer awareness because it’s really stupid. Keep reading »
Country star Kellie Pickler (right) shaved off her signature bright blond hair yesterday to show support for her childhood friend Summer Holt Miller, a 36-year-old mother of two who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and will begin chemotherapy this week. The two women appeared on “Good Morning America” this morning to discuss Pickler’s buzzed locks and raise breast cancer awareness. “If this compels even one person to change their mentality toward waiting until the age of 40 for their mammogram, then it will be worth it,” said Miller. What a brave and beautiful display of friendship. [Entertainment Weekly] Keep reading »
Oh, no! Beloved young adult author Judy Blume has revealed on her personal blog that she is currently battling breast cancer. The Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret author writes that this summer she intended to spend four weeks at an artists’ retreat at a castle in Umbria, Italy, finishing her next book. But instead Blume was diagnosed with breast cancer and hastily made plans to undergo a mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. It has been a month post-surgery and she’s back to writing and “feeling stronger every day.” Judging by her blog post, she seems to be in high spirits — she even cracked a small boobs/Are You There, God? joke with her doctor. (The doc didn’t get it.) Our thoughts and prayers are with Judy Blume and we have every hope she makes a full recovery! [Judy Blume Blog]
Did you know that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime?
This astonishingly high statistic is one of the many things I learned about breast health at Planned Parenthood’s Breast Health Initiative briefing yesterday. Surrounded by some incredibly influential and inspirational women, including Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards and actress/activist Gabrielle Union, I was informed about the lives that screenings have already saved and the ways in which Planned Parenthood is expanding their services. Keep reading »
Looking back on high school, I’m often surprised that I graduated with even a modicum of science literacy — let’s just say that my projects usually seemed a bit rushed, which is to say they were entirely completed the night before the due date. But for the teens who competed in this year’s Google Science Fair, an annual competition that invites teenagers from around the world to digitally submit their science projects, I think it’s safe to say that science is a blessing and an opportunity, and not a curse. Among this year’s amazing contestants, grand prize winner Brittany Wenger, a 17-year-old girl from Florida, seems to be stealing the show — and with her amazing project, a neural network that can diagnose breast cancer with 99.11% accuracy, can you really blame her? Read more…
I thought a post about the passing of an adult film actress who was known as the “Queen Of Clown Porn” could be interesting. But the illness and death of Hollie Stevens, age 30, of breast cancer is nothing short of absolutely tragic. Friends say that Stevens had no health insurance and couldn’t access decent health care; a lump on her breast claimed her life barely out of her 20s. Keep reading »