“Today, I feel like my condition comes with a certain duty. To turn a long story into a short one, on December 26th (yes, a great gift!) I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 25. Specifically, invasive ductal carcinoma, stage III, a triple negative.
On August 17th, just when I thought I was almost done with this cancer, I learned that a population of cancer cells had resisted chemotherapy and that I had metastasized to my brain. It is now stage IV and at this point, it is no longer possible to talk about remission.
That’s my long story in a nutshell. So, why this publication if not to talk about me and my rare case? It is because I have to admit that while talking to many women, men (and yes, men can also have this cancer), family, friends, colleagues, health professionals…I noticed one thing: you never know what a possible breast cancer looks like. This publication is therefore intended to raise awareness, to encourage people to examine themselves and to know exactly when they should be suspicious and see a doctor.
The main question people had when they found out I had this type of cancer was how I found out. In fact, you should know that I did not have an official breast exam at all. I simply touched my breast one day in October when I got out of the shower and felt a different texture (thank goodness for my training during my Ph. D in Chiropractic for my palpation skills!). Then I watched.
Two weeks later, a tender lump developed at a node in my right armpit and then progressed. That’s when I thought, “Okay, this isn’t right, I really need to talk to my doctor about this.” Luckily, I already had an appointment scheduled not too far from that date with my family doctor (a hyper proactive gem) who immediately started a battery of tests. Then finally, the diagnosis came.”
Breast observation is essential for a better prevention of breast cancer. In fact, cancer detected early has a better prognosis for recovery. Learn more about the signs and changes to watch out for here. Become your own breast expert!