Day 2: “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.” The Actual Dance
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.
Susan had a mammogram just two months earlier and the internist knew that. It would have been easy enough to ignore that “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.
Awareness is not just for patients. Is your doctor Aware?
Stat of the Day: Breast Cancer is one the most often misdiagnosed, missed, cancers. According to recent studies. (Click here and here) The reasons for missing are often assigned to inadequate tools and lack of time and resources.
Task of the Day: Make a note for your next doctor appointment. Check with your doctor to see how “Aware” he or she is of breast cancer developments and techniques. It is a two-way process and important for you and your doctor to know your breast risks.
Resources of the Day: First is a book I love and have recommended every year. How Doctors Think, by Dr. Jerome Groopman. It provides insights into how your doctor thinks. One of the suggestions, which I live by in my own relationship with my doctors, is to always ask: “What else could it be.” Here is a nice video by the Doctor who founded Breastcancer.org that seems to reinforce this point, she places most of the burden in the conversation on the patient to make sure the doctor is looking in the right direction and doesn’t forget anything.
The Actual Dance: Performances. Donate.