In 1955, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy, which was the standard of care at that time. She was terribly disfigured by that surgery and the prevailing medical truth was that hormonal changes were a factor in the proliferation of cancer cells. The following year, she became pregnant with me and experienced the joy of motherhood. But she lived under a cloud --that having a child might cause the cancer to return.
My mother passed away in 2002 in her 88th year, having lived more than four decades after cancer surgery and having lived to have a grandson who was her pride and joy. Today, the standard of care for early stage breast cancer is a lumpectomy and aromatase inhibitors are regularly prescribed to treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. So when anyone says that scientific research has not eliminated cancer, that statement overlooks the massive changes in the standards of treatment that science has proven effective.
To honor my mother, and to support the scientists whose research today will be tomorrow’s standards of treatment, please support me as I raise funds for Fred Hutch.