This post is part of a paid partnership with Genentech. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Living beyond breast cancer is a simple phrase, but it has so much meaning. Right before the pandemic hit, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 0 breast cancer. Even though we knew they caught it early, it was still super scary hearing the words “breast cancer”. After her initial treatment, she saw two doctors who gave very different treatment guidance. Luckily, we found a third doctor with a different opinion. This alone was a great reminder that it’s important to seek multiple opinions when navigating cancer care.
Overall, Breast cancer is a highly complex, multi-faceted disease, but most of us don’t realize that. When you think of cancer, you tend to think of the type – breast, lung, colon, and others. What no one realizes is that those are umbrellas for even more specific types of cancers.
The push to find funding and battle breast cancer has been helped greatly by the pink ribbon that we’ve all known for the past 30 years. When October rolls around, you’ll find pink ribbon t-shirts, pink ribbons on cars, pink tennis balls, pink ribbons on coffee mugs. Pink is everywhere. It’s this push that’s helped secure so much funding and awareness for breast cancer research over the years. However, it’s also led people to believe that breast cancer is simply one disease.
The truth is that breast cancer is incredibly complex, and it has different types classified by tumor size, lymph node status, cancer stage, cancer subtype, and more. When you really dig into breast cancer, you find out that it’s a snarl of various criteria, and it is vicious.
It’s important for men and women – because breast cancer affects both – to understand that there are many types of breast cancer. At some point in our lives we will likely know someone who has breast cancer. We might even be involved in making treatment decisions for loved ones with this cancer, so knowledge is absolutely power.
For all of these reasons and more, I’m proud to be a part of the “Not One Type” campaign sponsored by Living Beyond Breast Cancer and Genentech. This campaign is focused on encouraging women and their loved ones to have real, frank conversations about breast cancer and have those same conversations with their healthcare providers. It’s only through these types of conversations that we can help ensure our health and the health of our family members is protected as well as it can possibly be.
Living Beyond Breast Cancer is a non-profit organization, but it’s also a motto for women everywhere who have been diagnosed with this disease. There is so much life to live. Please, talk with your healthcare provider about any breast cancer concerns you might have, from lumps or pain to family members who were diagnosed with the disease or even just about ways that you can help reduce your chances of getting it. I’m happy to report my mom completed her treatment and received a clear scan at her last appointment. When we take our health into our own hands, we make living beyond breast cancer a reality.