Shauna Wears Pink

I will never forget the day my doctor uttered those horrifying words “I am sorry to tell you, but that is a cancer tumor that you have in your left breast”. I was 33 years old, and my life changed forever. I invite you to read my story, learn from it and hopefully be inspired to reach out to other young women living with and beyond breast cancer.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My survival rate

The single most important conversation I had with my oncologist was about my survival rate. After my surgeries and prior to starting chemotherapy we sat down with him to discuss the results of my two pathology reports (one from each surgery). He had input data regarding my exact type of cancer (from the cancer tissue found in my removed tumor) into a software program that analyzed the information along with my age and other statistics about me. The resulting report was very straight-forward, but startling to see in such black and white form. The report indicated that without further treatment, my survival rate for the next 10 years was 60%. In other words, I had an almost 50/50 chance of dying from my breast cancer during the next 10 years. However, if I completed chemotherapy and hormone therapy (i.e. put off having more children to complete a 5 year course of Tamoxifen) my survival rate increased to 80% per his report. In other words, my chances of dying in the next 10 years from breast cancer went down to only 20%. In the grand scheme of things these are probably not bad odds. My odds of getting hit by a bus tomorrow might be higher. However, something about seeing it in writing on that piece of paper was a big reality check for me. That day I vowed to never take another minute of time for granite. Time, I realized was the most precision thing I owned, and making wise choices with that time would become the most important goal in my life.


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