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A Tale of 2 Sisters
If you’ve had one first-degree female relative (sister, mother, daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is doubled. If two first-degree relatives have been diagnosed, your risk is 5 times higher than average.
This is where I sit on the risk scale!
Despite having many years of experience and expert knowledge in the world of breast cancer and breast cancer imaging, nothing prepared me for the news I received when I learned both my sisters had breast cancer 4 months apart.
Through that time, I juggled between being their consultant in the breast cancer field and their sister, watching from the outside as they endured and conquered their treatment paths.
In our daily circles, we as women discuss breast cancer as a general topic, however breast cancer diagnosis and treatment are as unique as the individual. It is this uniqueness that I have come to honor and respect over the years. Each individual enduring, managing, faltering, rising, striving, conquering….it is these actions that encapsulate the breast cancer story for each of us.
I have always told my patients…. “If breast cancer comes into your life, do not allow it to linger and be the book written about you, make it a single chapter in your life… we are all so much more than a single chapter”.
In honor of my sisters, I love you both.
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(3) Pisano et al. Diagnostic Performance of Digital versus Film Mammography for Breast –Cancer Screening. NEJM 2005;353:1773.