By John Ballard
Not gonna make a big deal about it but readers need to have this pair of links.
You or somebody in your life will face breast cancer and will need to be informed.
These two posts at Maggie Mahar's place are must-read items for anyone facing this diagnosis.
...Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), the type of cancer that invaded Amy Berman�s body, does not manifest itself as the �lump� that most of us associate with breast tumors: �When it is found, it is almost always in a late III or IV stage � meaning that it has metastasized (spread) to other parts of the body.� And �it is often missed by mammograms.� A woman may have a �clear mammogram�-- and be diagnosed with IBC a year later.
...the majority of women over 70 who are diagnosed with breast cancer will die of something else before the disease catches up with them. In this way, breast cancer is like prostate cancer: a great many older women will die with the cancer, but not from it, and most would never know they had it --unless someone insisted on a mammogram. This why the College of Physicians believes that the risks of unnecessary treatments outstrip benefits.
This is not just for women over 70, by the way. And it's not just another sales pitch for palliative care, either. Lots of solid information just to have at your disposal if you aim to be an informed "consumer."
(And that's who we are expected to be, you know. We are consumers first, then patients. And it will continue to be that way unless or until the medical-industrial complex gets "into" real patient-centered, informed healing.)