DUMB LUCK OR AWARENESS?
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Actual Dance is, among many different things, about breast cancer. It is also about love. It is also about relationships. It is also about spirituality and what life really is. It is about a lot of things.
In October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness I will post a daily blog with a reflection about breast cancer. The reflections will stem from something in the play.
Day 2: Dumb luck? No. Awareness. Susan’s breast cancer was discovered because her internist during a routine check-up “felt something funny” in her right breast and arranged for a biopsy. The line in the show is: “Oh, and one more thing Sam, the doctor wants me to see a surgeon to check out something she felt in my right breast. Now Sam, she doesn’t think it is anything to worry about. It just felt funny to her.”
Susan had a mammogram just two months earlier and the internist new that. It would have been easy just to write off the “funny feeling” to a bad memory. Or just to be in a rush and wait until the next check-up. The internist though was “aware” – totally aware of Susan’s record and history, aware of what the tissue should feel like and aware enough to know the possibility. Safe not sorry, so to speak. So Awareness is NOT only for the patient. All doctors treating women need to be Aware – aware of the patient’s history and risk profile, aware that medical charts need to reflect what was “felt” on previous exams, and aware enough to check it out every time. Is your Doctor that Aware?
Stat of the Day: In 2015, it's estimated that just under 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
Task of the Day: Make a note for your next doctor appointment. Check with your doctor to see how “Aware” he are she is of what is in your breast. This is for men too. Here is a nice article about the importance of the medical professional to also do a check.
Resource of the Day: The book How Doctors Think is a great tool for helping everyone know who to talk to your doctor. One of the most important questions, I learned from this book is simply. “What else could it be?”