by Giroux on February 9, 2015 - 8:47pm

On October 15th, 2011, the article ʺThe Cancer Risk Factor You’ve Probably Never Heard ofʺ written by Stephanie Sy and Cara Lemieux was published by abc News. The article relates the story of JoAnn Pushkin and Nancy Cappello who are two women of 40 years old. The two of them were doing annual mammograms and self-exams every month on their breasts as it is recommended by the doctors. The two of them, one day, while they were doing their self-exam found a lump on their breasts. They immediately went to pass a mammogram. They were told everything was perfect so they did not have to worry about the lump. However, the two of them were still worried and they asked for more advanced tests. Mrs. Pushkin was diagnosed with a grade two breast cancer and Mrs. Cappello with a grade three breast cancer. They learned afterwards that their doctor knew they had higher risks to have a breast cancer because their breasts were dense. Although, their doctors knew it and could have told them before so they could have taken more precise tests for a certain amount of money, doctors are not allowed to tell this kind of things to their patients.

In my family, two members were diagnosed with a grade two breast cancer in the same situation than Mrs. Pushkin and Mrs. Cappello. I perfectly understand the feeling they had when the doctors told them the mammograms did not detect anything. The two of knew something was wrong because the lump they felt on their breasts was not there before. Nevertheless, the only thing they could do is to ask for more advanced tests. This is where it becomes though to find the words to reassure those people you love that everything will be alright. Such as Mrs. Pushkin and Mrs. Cappello, to learn that your doctor knew you had more chance to have a breast cancer, but that he cannot tell you, it is unacceptable. Everybody should be aware of the risks they have to be diagnosed with a cancer, mainly when people could have asked for more advanced tests that would have detected the cancer in an early grade. As a society, we have to make it change.

Hopefully, Mrs. Pushkin, Mrs. Cappello and my two family members are cancer survivors.



I think your personal element added a great twist to your text, which was to tell us to act as a society so that doctors can tell us about what diseases we have. I completely agree with you because it is a right for a patient to know what he has. Why bother going to the doctor if it is to tell us that “everything is fine?” The fact that you related the members of your family inside the article proves us, as readers, that you are an excellent source to the ones that had lived the same situation as your family because you have felt the pressure along with your family. When it touches a member of your family, it touches you directly and it gives credibility to your statements.

The personal factor which was added by your personal experience has brought a degree to the story which made it more meaningful. I think that it has made the article more meaningful by adding emotions that are lacking in the usually dry factual way in which information is given in the media. I have recently learnt that a family member has cancer, to see that others have story concerning loved ones facing this illness and survived is of great relief. I could not agree more that testing for cancer should become more of routine health inspection. I also agree that more resource should be available in order to catch the illness before it grows to a degree that it become damageable.

I would like to start by saying that your post is very well written as you add elements from your personal experiences with breast cancer situations. This made your post significantly more meaningful. I would also like to suggest that you contact the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. They are an organization that works towards a cancer-free future by funding research and raising awareness. Since you mention in your post that you were able to relate to the cancer patients from the article, I found an organization that would be right for you. This foundation helps support research, supports victims and raises awareness. If you are interested, the following is a link to their main web page: