Tuesday, May 14, 2013


What does the word lethal mean to you? Does it mean that it might kill or will kill you? When a prisoner is sentenced to death by lethal injection, do they mean, well maybe the injection might kill him or it might not, we'll see.
I finally got around to reading Our Feel Good War on Breast Cancer published recently in the NYT. My fellow blogger Pat from Positives about Negatives had sent a rebuttal to the paper because it characterized TNBC as LETHAL scaring the Baby Jesuses unnecessarily out of the newly diagnosed when the truth is, most do survive it though the 13% fatality rate Pat quoted (much smaller than I was told for my particular stage) is not small and it is scary. It is roughly the same odds of death as a single round of Russian Roulette only the death will be more painful and dragged out.

One of the article's main points is the uselessness of frequent mammograms as most breast cancers are slow growing and harmless. One might as well just wait until one can feel the lump I guess. It detects harmless DCIS more often than actual cancer which she claims has only a very small chance of ever converting to 'real' cancer. Well  the last funeral I went to was for a woman who was diagnosed with 'harmless' DCIS. And although zillions of women are now getting mammograms due to all the publicity, the death rates have fallen only slightly and that is mainly due to Herceptin and Tamoxifen. Proof positive in her book that mammograms are useless excepting for a very, very few people.

Well I am one of the few I guess. I couldn't feel my tumor. I was lucky that the timing of my mammogram was just right. Any earlier and it would not have been seen and any later, it probably would have spread. At the size it was when they finally got around to removing it, there was a 50% chance that it already spread.

This is what she had to say about catching TNBC by mammogram. The chances that one catches it before it turns lethal are very slim. Even if it is big enough  to see by mammogram, it already has spread enough to kill you.

1 comment:

Holly said...

Well said dear Sue...as always!


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