lhcqf logo 2016



Pink Is My New Black

By Linda Morgan, Quality Forum Director of Marketing & Communications

Are you seeing pink? October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and pink is almost everywhere. The color has symbolized the disease since the early 1990s, and pink ribbons are worn to increase awareness, to honor survivors, to recognize those who have died and to support research efforts.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995. Needless to say, I’m happy to be a survivor and proud to wear pink whenever, wherever and forever.

Since my diagnosis, there have been great advances in breast cancer screening, treatment and research as well as in identification of risk factors and healthy lifestyles choices. Even so, the American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 233,000 women will face a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer this year and about 40,000 will die from the disease. It’s equally important to note that more than 2,300 men will be diagnosed, and 430 will die because of it in 2014.

A key message that still rings loud and clear during Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the importance of early detection and screening to check for the disease before there are signs or symptoms. Bottom line, many people – not all – can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other associations, a mammogram is the best screening tool used today to detect breast cancer. On a personal note, I really, really hope that’s true.

Living as a breast cancer survivor for many years, I’ve been a fairly compliant patient … following the mammography screening guidelines and seeing my GYN regularly. I honestly think about recurrence at some point every single day, knowing how fortunate I am to be here. I also have to admit that as the years have gone by, I’ve felt increasingly confident that the disease was in my past.

This year, I delayed my annual exam and mammogram for the usual reasons: I’m too busy, I’m feeling fine, I’m untouchable. But because October focuses so much attention on breast cancer, I knew I had to schedule my exam-o-gram. I’m glad I did, even though the results of the radiology report sent chills up my spine with words I’ve dreaded for nearly 20 years: suspicious abnormality, cluster of calcifications, further evaluation, etc.

I left the office with an uneasy feeling, but for some reason, I didn’t panic. For starters, I didn’t notice or feel any changes in my breasts or underarm area. Likewise, my GYN couldn’t detect anything via a clinical breast exam. It took a digital mammogram to pick up the small, questionable spot. And because my most recent mammograms are also digital and available, the radiologists were able to compare them and determine that this 3mm x 9mm intruder was new and warranted more testing.  Quite honestly, I feel like early detection and screening may be working in my favor this time. Because of the results from this mammogram, my next step is a biopsy … and that’s another blog!

In closing, I’d like to share my personal takeaways from this “to be continued” experience:

Continue reading
12643 Hits

    Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum

    8550 United Plaza Blvd., Ste. 301
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809
    Ph (225) 334-9299 | Fax 225-334-9847

side-nav-off 01
side-nav-off 02
side-nav-off 03
side-nav-off 04
Cannabis-derived terpenes are available in a variety of strains. Popular cannabis strain terpene profiles include Gorilla Glue, Gary Payton, and GMO according to cannabis researchers at Stanford University.