Cancer Lesson #72: Don’t Ignore the Lump.

Cancer Lesson #72: Don’t ignore the lump.

Each year when I go for my annual mammogram, I get a little nervous. Some breast cancer survivors find follow-up tests very distressing, but I always feel better after being checked. Ignoring a problem rarely makes it go away, especially when that problem is cancer.

If you’ve had breast cancer, you know people like to share their own close calls.

“I had a lump once,” they’ll say. “I was really worried, but it turned out to be nothing.”

Those are the good stories.

We also hear the other, not good stories. At least one person has told me “If I’d gone to the doctor when I first found my lump, my cancer wouldn’t have been so advanced by the time it was treated.”

The most heartbreaking of all was the man who said, “If my wife had gone to the doctor right away, she’d probably still be alive.”

You may be thinking I made that last one up.

I wish you were right.

So, here’s Cancer Lesson #72, repeated because it’s so important: Don’t ignore the lump, no matter where it is or how small.

If I’d ignored mine, I’d still have cancer, just more widespread and, oh yeah, more likely to kill me.

Thanks. I’ll take that mammogram.

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2 thoughts on “Cancer Lesson #72: Don’t Ignore the Lump.

  1. I’ll take the mammogram, even though it didn’t find the cancer, just a couple of random patches of DCIS. I’ll also make the hard decision to have a mastectomy rather than a lumpectomy, because that’s what saved my life. My cancer was invisible to ultrasound and mammography. But it was there, and it wasn’t small. If you feel the lump, sometimes it’s the only warning. Go to the doctor.

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    • Good advice, Kate. And should have said, don’t ignore your mammogram reminders either, even if it didn’t catch yours. Just one more piece of evidence that everyone’s cancer is different.

      Like

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