USA Today interview: “Rate of ‘preventive’ mastectomy rising”

October 18th, 2011 § 2 comments

































For those of you who missed it yesterday, click here to the USA Today piece that Liz Szabo did about the decision for some women with breast cancer to have a mastectomy.

Everyone was so supportive in sharing publication day with me… thank you. The enthusiasm from Facebook and Twitter friends was truly touching.

The kids feel like celebrities! The photo on the cover page of the Life section was huge and the photographer captured a great laugh with the kids. The children were so patient during the 1.5 hour photo shoot.

I’m still working on a big post with more about the subject of mastectomies for breast cancer. I promise to have that up as soon as I can.

The response was overwhelmingly positive but there were a few criticisms of my decision. Here is what I reply:

I don’t believe that my decision to have a double mastectomy was a guarantee that my cancer won’t come back. There was much I could not control about cancer; some of that uncertainty still remains. However, how you treat your cancer, live with it, and monitor it are things you can control.

The shame is that when observers (many whom have no direct experience with cancer) decide to be critical of people with the disease, survivors may be afraid to tell their stories. Cancer awareness– true awareness– can only happen when men and women with breast cancer feel comfortable enough to talk about their experiences, their choices, and their disease without fear of being challenged.

I will continue to tell my story.


Tagged , ,

§ 2 Responses to USA Today interview: “Rate of ‘preventive’ mastectomy rising”"

  • Diane says:

    You have a beautiful family! Wishing you many many long years with them. Of course none of us knows what tomorrow will bring. The same people that criticize, I’ve found, are also in the same camp as those that are advising against annual mammograms under 40 and self breast exams. ( Thankfully there are many resources available for patients facing this diagnosis and writers like you who are willing to share their decision so that one can be as informed as possible about her (and his) treatment options. So many variables, so many decisions. It is good to write and talk about them. Thank you for sharing your difficult decision with the world.

  • Lisa,
    I love that picture. It captures the reasons you made the decisions you’ve made and no one has a right to second guess you.

    Seven years ago when I was diagnosed, I asked for a double mastectomy as well, but was told the uninvolved breast was a “perfectly healthy organ.” That absurd phrase has stuck with me ever since. I’m still amazed I agreed to only have the cancerous breast removed, and four years later, when I was discovered I was BRCA2+, refrained from saying “I told you I should have had both breasts removed.”

    Like you, I know the survival statistics, but from our point of view, it flies in the face of logic to leave the other one.

    Blessings to you and your precious family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What's this?

You are currently reading USA Today interview: “Rate of ‘preventive’ mastectomy rising” at Lisa Bonchek Adams.