Get Your Mammograms, Ladies!


*Warning! uncomfortable pictures ahead!

Breast Cancer…

I would like EVERYONE to read this ~

Someone you know and love will be effected by this in your lifetime ~

I would like everyone to look at the Surgery Options. Women tend to view themselves through the lens of what society deems as beautiful or womanly. When a woman has their breasts taken off their body, their self-image changes dramatically.

I am told by my aunt, the 2 best sites for info. on breast cancer are:

About Breast Cancer:

Statistics, Causes, Symptoms, Surgery Options

Every three minutes a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2006, an estimated 212,920 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed, along with 61,980 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. And 40,970 women are expected to die in 2006 from this disease.

Breast cancer is the leading cancer among white and African American women. African American women are more likely to die from this disease.

Breast cancer incidence in women has increased from one in 20 in 1960 to one in eight today.

What this means is, you have 8 friends, 1 of you will have breast cancer in your lifetime

The exact cause of breast cancer is not known. Factors that can increase a woman’s risk include heredity, early puberty, late childbearing, obesity, and lifestyle factors such as heavy alcohol consumption and smoking. The biggest risk factor for breast cancer is age — just growing older. Most breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50, and women over 60 are at the highest risk.

A woman’s risk for developing breast cancer increases if her mother, sister, daughter, or two or more other close relatives, such as cousins, have a history of breast cancer, especially at a young age. However, 85% of women who develop breast cancer have NO known family history of the disease.

Changes in certain genes (BRCA1, BRCA2, and others) make women more susceptible to breast cancer. Genetic testing can determine whether a woman has these abnormal genes.

The widespread use of screening mammography has increased the number of breast cancers found before they cause any symptoms. But some are still not found early.

The most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A lump that is painless, hard, and has uneven edges is more likely to be cancer. But sometimes cancers can be tender, soft, and rounded. So it’s important to have anything unusual checked by your doctor.

Other signs of breast cancer include the following:

A swelling of part of the breast
Skin irritation or dimpling
Nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
Redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin
A nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
A lump in the underarm area

Stage Definition

Stage 0 ~ Cancer cells remain inside the breast duct, without invasion into normal adjacent breast tissue
Stage I ~ Cancer is 2 centimeters or less and is confined to the breast (lymph nodes are clear)
Stage II ~ The tumor is over 2 centimeters but no larger than 5 centimeters
There is spread to the lymph nodes under the arm
Stage III (includes substages IIIA & IIIB) Also called locally advanced cancer. ~ The tumor is more than 5 centimeters across
The cancer is extensive in the underarm lymph nodes
It has spread to other lymph nodes or tissues near the breast
Stage IV ~ The cancer has spread—or metastasized—to other parts of the body.


Surgery Options
Treatment Description

Lumpectomy ~ The malignant tumor and a rim of normal tissue are removed

Quadrantectomy ~ The malignant tumor and a larger rim of normal tissue are removed

Total or Simple Mastectomy ~ The whole breast is removed

Modified Radical Mastectomy ~ The whole breast is removed, along with underarm lymph nodes

Radical Mastectomy ~ The whole breast, chest muscles, all of the lymph nodes under the arm, and some additional fat and skin are removed

Axillary Dissection ~ Underarm lymph nodes are removed to determine if cancer has spread

Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection ~ Only a few underarm lymph nodes are removed. These are the nodes that filter fluid from the affected area of the breast. These nodes are identified using a radioactive substance or blue dye injected near the tumor site within the breast

Breast Cancer Prevention from The Mayo Clinic

This page tells about mammograms (Which is the best form of detection)

Mammograms are probably the most important tool doctors have to help them diagnose, evaluate, and follow women who’ve had breast cancer. Safe and highly accurate, a mammogram is an X-ray photograph of the breast. The technique has been in use for about thirty years.

Mammograms don’t prevent breast cancer, but they can save lives by finding breast cancer as early as possible. For example, mammograms have been shown to lower the chance of dying from breast cancer by 35% in women over the age of 50; studies suggest for women between 40 and 50 they may lower the chance of dying from breast cancer by 25–35%.

Leading experts, the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the American College of Radiology now recommend annual mammograms for women over 40.

Finding breast cancers early with mammography has also meant that many more women being treated for breast cancer are able to keep their breasts. When caught early, localized cancers can be removed without resorting to breast removal (mastectomy).

Also, the self breast exam: seen here

The reasoning behind this post:

I know of 4+ people who have had breast cancer.

1. My mother, who had a double Modified Radical Mastectomy (lymph nodes taken from one arm) A woman who doesn’t care to follow God, is thinking about taking her implants out, loves her grandkids more than anything. (a self breast exam caught hers)

2. My friend, Kim, who is a few years older than me, who is in the last stages of a double Total or Simple Mastectomy and in the first stages of reconstructive surgery. A mother of 2 girls who are in college and a husband who works and lives out of the country. (a mammogram caught hers)

3. A Neighbor down the street, Kathy, older lady, double mastectomy, maybe 20 years ago (give or take a few years) and has a hole in her chest that will not heal from radiation. A gramma who takes care of her grandson because the mother and father can’t handle him, he is 9.

4. An elderly lady at my church, Barb, who had a Lumpectomy, more than once, and bladder cancer, uterine cancer and tumors. When she was 24, she was given 6 months to live. She is the matriarch of our church at a young 74 years of age. She buried her husband a few years ago, from lung cancer, this woman is a true woman of God, who literally takes whatever He throws at her with a smile and a shrug. She is truly grateful for every day she has. (a mammogram and self exams caught hers)

5. I’ve known a few different ladies who have had lumpectomies.

6. UPDATE: As of Sept. 2007, I can add my aunt, my mothers sister to the list, she had a double mastectomy with noreconstructive surgery . She did not need chemo or  radiation. Thank God. A strong-willed, professional woman, non-believer. (Hers was detected by a mamogram)

I put a bit of a story behind the faces of the breast cancer I know.

I am literally begging you who read this, to get checked, or get your loved ones checked.

Because of the history in our family I have been getting the dreaded mammograms since I was 30.

Compared to the awful reality of having cancer, the mammograms are easy, safe and really, only logical.

I would really hope this condensed version of the stats on breast cancer would put a scare into some women who haven’t been to the doctor to get checked. And you fellas, Tell your wives, mothers, lovers and daughters you love them. And you would like for them to get checked out!

God has created us from His image, for His glory and for His good.

God has given us doctors to help us and heal us.

God gives us common sense to take care of our bodies. We are the temple of the Lord. We house His Holy Spirit.

Please, be good stewards of all He has given us.

* In tribute to my loved ones with breast cancer and for those I don’t know.

Blessings, Kristina

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and {that} the Spirit of God dwells in you?

17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

1 Corinthians 6

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

2 Corinthians 6

For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.

17 “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.

18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.

12 responses »

  1. Geez Louise, girl, thank you for that lovely first picture. 😛 Upton Sinclair much?

    I’m not arguing, just sayin’!

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  8. I dont know my cousin is 28, two weeks ago they found out that she has breast cancer. only 28. it’s very advanced why so young I thought someone so young cant get this . And know they want women to wait till they are 50 ???
    Laura, Im truly sorry for you cousin. Its not very common to get it so young, but when it does it is very advanced. Is there any other relatives with breast cancer? When someont has a relative that has had breast cancer, then they can get checked before 50 y.o.
    I’ve been getting checked since I was 32 , i am now 43.
    I’m sorry, my dear, prayers are being said for your cousin. ~Kristina

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