I wrote this letter tonight because this pissed me off & I think they should know.
Hello, this is in regard to this:
I just found your website while sitting in my hospital bed in NYC. I have breast cancer. I found the lump on my own when I touched my breast last December. No it wasn't a monthly exam but it was my discovery & not a doctor's. In school & from my gynos all my life I was told to do breast exams monthly, saw the shower card my mom had & it was in my mind that this can happen & I should be aware. I wasn't paranoid or a hypochondriac about it but I knew it existed & I knew that touching my boobs was important. I never did it routinely because I found I just liked touching my boobs & I ended up touching them more than once a month. Your site says monthly exams aren't proven to help. Well I say fuck that. Maybe they don't prove anything statistically but telling people not to do it is going to cause more problems. If people get anxiety over monthly exams then they are just ignorant. If they get proper education in the purpose of the exams and understand that they should be touching their boobs standing & laying down, and doing this frequently is likely to help them notice differences in their breasts, changes, looking for nipple discharge or discolorations, etc, then more women WILL be educated.
From reading your facts & myths I honestly don't feel like the people who wrote them understand fully what it's like to find an actual lump in your breast at the age of 33. I do. And if I hadn't found it when I did I'd likely be dead soon & not on my way to recovery as I am now. I don't think that spreading the word that self-exams are not helping is going to help at all! It's more likely to hinder the cause. Women, especially young women, NEED to know that breast change and we all need to be aware of our bodies and note any changes so we can address them with our doctors. Your spreading this nonsense is more likely to harm the cause & keep doctors from taking us young breast cancer patients seriously. It's difficult enough for us to be taken seriously--- I BATTLED to get my mammogram-- but I am determined to help educate young women to touch their tits as often as possible. I think it's irresponsible of you to encourage otherwise. So what that statistics show it doesn't help?-- statistics show all sorts of things that aren't always true. Had I not been told about self exams as a kid, had my mom not had that card in the shower, had I been afraid to touch my breasts because I didn't know it could save my life I would most certainly not be surviving this cancer as we speak because I probably wouldn't have caught it as early as I did!
I'm really disappointed in your organization & I think you need to be more of a positive influence than a negative one. ANY touching of your boobs (welcomed that is) is good & we should all be doing it daily!
Breast Cancer Survivor!