1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime. So if you live to be old enough, chances are you might get breast cancer. It is a fact of life. Women get breast cancer, men get prostate cancer but I promise you that this diagnosis is not the end of the world. In fact, you are much more likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than you are to die from breast cancer. I don’t mean to sound morbid but these are just medical statistics.
Our screening technology has improved so much in my career as a doctor. We now have 3D mammograms, ultrasounds and MRIs. Usually you only need one of these tests but sometimes they are used to really hone in on a problem area. There might be issues like cystic lesions that are best evaluated by ultrasound or dense breasts that fare better with an MRI. No test replaces the other and certainly there are no guarantees.
In my community, we have a very special surgeon, Dr. Melanie Friedlander, who is the co-director of the Breast Surgery Program at the Hunt Cancer Institute at Torrance Memorial. She earned her medical degree at New Jersey Medical School and completed her general surgery training and fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
She shares with us her experience being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and how this has helped her become a more empathetic provider. Her message of hope for those of you who have been diagnosed with breast cancer is a beautiful message. She is a walking testament that we can cure breast cancer and that this diagnosis is not a death sentence.
Dr.Friedlander is part of the Association of Southbay Surgeons. Here is the link to her information: https://southbaysurgeons.com/profile/melanie-h-friedlander Please feel free to email me with your questions to [email protected] or send me a direct message via my Instagram account @dr.elenarodriguez. Please comment, subscribe and share. This will get the message out to so many women with this diagnosis.