Re: [MOL] Progression of breast cancer [01412] Medicine On Line

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Re: [MOL] Progression of breast cancer

Dear Roberta,

I have read the posts in reply to this post, and I have read your 
responses to those posts. Please don't think you have offended 
anyone. The sincere reply of those on the list is a result of their 
knowledge that, although you fear the treatment, it is certainly not 
as bad as ignoring the situation until the cancer becomes fatal. 
Breast cancer is the most treatable form of cancer and has the best 
survival rate of any, from what I have heard.

I had a lumpectomy and radiation therapy almost a year ago. Like you, 
I was stunned when I heard the diagnosis, cancer. Like you, I wanted 
to put off doing anything about it, but my doctor absolutely insisted 
that we could not put it off. The early it is treated the less 
discomfort the treatment causes and the better your chances of 
survival. Dealing with the surgeries and radiation was not fun; it 
was inconvenient and somewhat painful, but I am now cancer free as 
far as the follow-up exams indicate. Of course, I will continue to 
have checkups every 6 months for a couple of more years. I know that 
I could have another bout with it, maybe in the other breast, but 
believe me, putting up "the good fight" is worth the trouble. 
Remember, every day of your life is valuable to you and to those who 
love you. Don't accept cutting your life short when there is a 
possibility you can beat this thing.

Alternative approaches may be helpful, but I would go with what we 
now know works in combatting the disease. It may not be perfect, but 
it is the best we have and new discoveries are being made every day. 
However, all the new discoveries in the world won't help you if you 
don't opt for treatment.

Sorry if I seem preachy but maybe it is a result of my many years as 
a teacher. If I see someone making choices that are not beneficial to 
them I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. My natural tendency is 
to say, "Why don't you try this and see if it works better for you?" 
Remember you are important and allowing your life to end without a 
fight is a real loss to the world. You are important; that is why you 
are on this earth in the first place. I have a simple philosophy of 
life; "I wasn't put on this earth to fail." I have a purpose and I 
know that what I do is important to those who are touched by me. I 
know that is also true of you. Please reconsider the idea of 
conventional treatment. If it is a matter of cost, find the 
government supported resources to get it financed. Government 
supported hospitals cannot turn you away and most doctors will work 
with you to allow payment on any part of the treatment your insurance 
doesn't cover to be spread out over a long time. I know it is 
difficult to face the debt, but trust me; debt is better than death.

Your new friend and fellow breast cancer patient,
Liz Patterson of Yakima WA.

>Does anyone know the average progression rate of breast cancer for someone
>who does not receive any type of treatment?  How many months could one expect
>to survive from the time that she noticed the initial lump?  From what I've
>read, I would guess that I'm between Stage II and Stage III.  I've searched
>EVERYWHERE and yet, cannot find any information concerning how quickly this
>leads to death.  I would really like this information, if someone can help
>me.                                 Thanks,

Liz Patterson
Patterson & Associates
2115 Summitview Ave.
Yakima, WA 98902
(509) 576-4213
For Patterson's YVCC on site and distance learning English classes 
for summer, 1999)
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