Breast cancer treatment is not one size fits all. For some patients, a genomic test can help determine whether chemotherapy is necessary in addition to hormone therapy to treat breast cancer and help prevent future recurrences.
In June, Rethink, along with several other breast cancer charities, teamed up with Genomic Health on #NoMatterMyAge, a campaign that calls attention to the fact that any women, no matter their age, should have all of the information about their breast cancer before making a treatment decision.
We heard stories from many women in our community who were diagnosed young and about the decisions they had to make upon diagnosis. Here’s what they had to say.
@MRSFRANKFORD_Since that day the whirlwind of doctors appointments have revealed many things: I am BRCA1 positive. My tumor was ER+ PR- HER2-, Stage 2 and fast growing. I have had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction and just recently found out that I will be receiving 4 months of chemotherapy. I start on July 10th. After chemotherapy I have a second surgery and years of hormone therapy. I have learned that the words “it came back as cancer” will not kill you. It feels like it, but something happens after the initial breakdown. You are introduced to a new you. One who fights…hard. One who laughs louder. One who loves so so hard. One who accepts what has been thrown at her but refuses to let that be what defines her. I have watched my husband fulfill his vows in such a beautiful way. He is my rock and I love him more than I can express. I have learned how much I am loved by the people around me and how a community pulling together is a powerful thing. Would I have asked for this? NO. But is it the best worst thing that has happened to me? YES.
@ERINPLUMI was a 30 year old wife and mom of two young kids when I was diagnosed with #breastcancer. I was 6 months postpartum when I felt a weird lump and I let another 6 months go by before getting it checked out–convinced it was nothing. · Later I would find out that I carry the BRCA1 mutation which increases my risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer by up to 80%. Cancer doesn’t play favorites. It can happen to anyone and it can happen young. None of my healthcare providers ever encouraged me to get genetic testing even though cancer runs in my family. Advocate for yourself. No one is promised a cancer free life.
@MONICAWASHEREWas a 42 year old stay at home mom when BC came. I’d just miscarried a baby. My son had turned 5 a week before diagnosis. I’d no family history of BC. I was suddenly CONTEMPLATING early chemo-induced menopause and freezing embryos! What?! MIND ELSEWHERE, quietly CONTEMPLATING if this would kill me whilst doling out juice boxes and balloons to kindergartners. I look at the pictures taken of me at the party, and my eyes are sad spheres of fear. I was stage IIIC, ILC. That was almost 5 years ago.
@SDIMURO2019I love this picture. These are my parents holding their first grandkid. They look a little tired but that’s because they drove all through the night to be there for their daughter who had just had a double mastectomy. Their super healthy daughter who always did everything right health wise and was so excited to be a first time mom.
@LALANEEDSAMARGARITAThis day happened to involve carving pumpkins. Some days you don’t forget. This was the day after the big C was confirmed. At work that day they had their annual breast cancer walk, and I just couldn’t with the irony. I knew I would need chemo, and later surgery, but had to wait for appointments with specialists in order to receive a specific treatment plan.
The #NoMatterMyAge campaign was created to help educate and raise awareness about the need for all breast cancer patients – regardless of their age – to get as much information as they can before making a treatment decision. This means learning how to self-advocate and to ask questions about care options, including whether a genomic test may help determine the best treatment plan. To learn more, please visit NoMatterMyAge.org