Breast Cancer Statistics
The Canadian Cancer Society states that “cancer is a disease that starts in our cells. Our bodies are made up of millions of cells, grouped together to form tissues and organs such as muscles and bones, the lungs and the liver. Genes inside each cell order it to grow, work, reproduce and die. Normally, our cells obey these orders and we remain healthy.”
Breast cancer is cancer that starts in the breast and is unfortunately very common. The statistics for Canadian women developing breast cancer are quite shocking. The Canadian Cancer Society states that it is estimated that about 1 in 8 Canadian women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
The Canadian Cancer Society also stated that in 2017 (the year that I was diagnosed), on average, 72 Canadian women were diagnosed with breast cancer every day, with an estimated 26,300 women being diagnosed with breast cancer overall in 2017.
Power of Positivity
Whilst receiving a cancer diagnosis is shocking news and it is very tempting to start pondering why me, and how did this happen; I would say that it is so important to keep a positive outlook and not dwell on these questions.
I truly believe that it is possible to find a positive aspect to focus on, even in the worst situation such as a cancer diagnosis, and that this can truly make a difference to the bad situation that has occurred. For me, I focused on my beautiful little baby daughter who had saved my life (had I not been pregnant, my tumour probably wouldn’t have grown so quickly for me to notice the change).
My mother-in-law, Lindy, was a true inspiration to me on the power of positivity. Lindy was an incredibly positive person generally in life and more so in the face of a recurring cancer diagnosis. Lindy was a 5 year+ breast cancer survivor when the breast cancer unfortunately came back with aggression and spread throughout her body. Lindy never gave up her positive outlook. At one point, Lindy was told that she only had a couple of months left to enjoy; but she proved everyone wrong with her positivity and determination and had 2 more years of special vacations and time with family and friends, which are now such treasured memories.
If you take anything from this story, please just know that the power of keeping a positive outlook makes an enormous difference as you go through your cancer treatment, and through life generally. Even in the darkest times, you can find a positive aspect to focus on. Stay positive!
There are a lot of websites available with information on breast cancer. For understanding my diagnosis and treatment options, I turned to the below websites for the official cancer societies for Canada, America and the UK; they have really concise and easy to digest information.
The Canadian Cancer Society has also created a great paperback information booklet called “Understanding Treatment for Breast Cancer: A Guide for Women” which I was given when I was first diagnosed. I haven’t been able to locate a PDF version of this exact booklet but they have a couple of similar booklets available online here and here.