Monday, May 11, 2009

IBC does not discriminate.

Posted by at 8:34 AM
Women living and coping with IBC come from all walks of life. Take, for example the blogger named "Why Mommy" who describes her blog this way:

Welcome to my world, Toddler Planet. I'm WhyMommy, just your average everyday cancer survivor/astrophysicist/mom, learning my way through each day with two beautiful, happy little boys (Widget, born 8-04 and Little Bear, born 1-07). You can also find me at Women in Planetary Science Blog, Mothers With Cancer, Review Planet, Twitter, or the playground.

This blogger was diagnosed with IBC in June 2007, and has done quite a lot of work advocating on behalf of women (including herself) with IBC. If you follow this link, you'll be sent to all kinds of places on the net where she has spread the message "know yourself." All women need to be familiar with how their bodies feel "normally," and be aware of any changes.

Furthermore, she provides readers with a list of ideas on what to do to help someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. Loads of ideas there!

WhyMommy posts the following on her site, and encourages bloggers to share the post anywhere they can.

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain,
soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

If you have a blog, please post the above few paragraphs. WhyMommy will link back to your blog if you do. Extra traffic is good for you, and spreads the word. Good news for everyone! :)

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