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What Do You Do If You Find A Lump In Your Breast?
Since the subject matter of breast cancer involves extensive discussion I propose to write two books on this subject. This first book addresses the concerns of people who have found lump(s) in their breast(s) and what they need to do. Let us tackle the problem one step at a time and get it right from the beginning.
At CA Care we ask you to go and see your doctor and get your problem diagnosed first. And if it is cancerous, we take the position that you need to go for a mastectomy (remove the whole breast) or lumpectomy (remove only the lump). This is exactly what any doctor will also tell you to do. So why do you need to read this book then? You can get it all from the doctors you have consulted! But the similarity ends there.
As a patient you expect your doctor to explain everything you want to know before he/she proceeds to cut you up. But in reality this never happens. At most you are given 10 minutes to consult your doctor. What can you learn in 10 minutes?
Ina, the lady who we shall be talking in great detail in this book went to see an oncologist. She was given 10 minutes. The doctor did not even look up to see her. He looked at the medical report and keyed in some data into his computer and then rattled out some number. Ina was not impressed or happy. Her husband said, “He talked about money first.” Much of the consultation was about the cost involved and Ina was left with little time for questions that she wanted to ask. This consultation cost RM106.
Our distant relative, the late Corrina had pancreatic cancer. She consulted the “best” oncologist in town. The conversation lasted about 10 minutes. The oncologist asked, “Oh, you stay in Sea View. What are you working as? Do you buy health insurance?
Corrina said, ” He asked me to lie down. Checked here and checked there. He saw the scans. He put on his computer and showed four patients. One was a miracle case – he survived 6 years with no sign of cancer coming back. He said there are 3 types of people that he treated. The one type is completely cured. The second type is in remission and the third type is just wasting his time. He is suggesting that I am type that is wasting his time. He said, “I can’t cure you.” But he asked me to go back and think and decide. He then said, “I can start you on chemo. Chemo is every week, for 8 times. (My husband) asked about the side effects. He replied, “Nothing.”
If you only have 10 to 15 minutes with your oncologist – and have to pay SGD 700 (about RM 1,774) for that – you probably need to be more organized before meeting him – so as to get the most of his valuable time. Unfortunately, what you want from your oncologist differ greatly from what your oncologist wants from you!
Take it from me, all these information and guidance you need cannot be found in the hospital setting! Over
the years, I have seen how faces full of anguish and fear turned to bright smiles after consulting with us. What is more, we do this without any charge!
Now, I thought I would help many more people if I put my thoughts into a small “how to” guide book.
In this book, I take you through this first part of your cancer journey, one step at a time. In Chapter 1, I tell all patients, “Don’t panic.” Let us go through your problem together.
In Chapter 2, I ask you to go and find out if the lump is benign or malignant. Most of the time, the doctor would want you to do a biopsy first. “Do you need to do a biopsy?” is discussed in Chapter 3. If the lump is big, there is no reason to keep it in your breast – irrespective of whether it is cancerous or not.
In Chapter 4, I explained why you should not keep the cancerous breast anymore. There are situations when you can save the breast by doing a lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy. I explained these procedures in Chapter 5.
In the event that losing a breast is beyond acceptance, you can consider breast reconstruction surgery. Get a plastic surgeon to “make” you a new breast. This is explained in Chapter 6.
I hope the information in the first part of the book would be enough to provide some comfort and guidance on this first part of your journey. Also with this information you are better prepared to face your doctor and would be knowledgeable enough to be able to ask important and sensible questions.
Then in Chapter 7, it is time to put your knowledge into action. I addressed the issues of how to find the “right” doctor – and where? For those who have to pay the medical bills from their own pockets, I teach you how to “save” some expenses. You may benefit from my practical advice. Imagine, a mastectomy done in a certain hospital by a certain surgeon costs 9 times LESS than if you do the same operation in Singapore, or two or three times LESS if you do in other “normal” hospitals.
What comes after surgery is discussed in Chapter 8, the last chapter of the book. Surgery is just one “small challenge” you have to go through. The next “bigger challenge” is yet to come. In Chapter 8, I discuss one possible option which you may wish to consider if you don’t want to go for chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Unfortunately this is a big issue to tackle. Since I intend to make this book small enough for you to be able to read within a few hours, I shall leave the issue of chemotherapy / radiotherapy for my next book.
I am aware that most of you do not have the time to read too much while you are under such a “stressful” situation. So, I have tried to be precise and concise in my advice here.
This book will give you some advice that you need to at least keep you calm and get you through the first step of your cancer journey.
I am also aware that I have to keep up with this age of modern information technology. I have made the book available in both Pdf or ePub formats which can be down loaded into your hand phone (iPhone or Android), iPad, and tablet besides your computer. So this book can be read with just a click of a button wherever you are – even in the waiting room while waiting to see your doctor.
The book in your palm using the iPhone
The book in your palm, Android handphone
Screenshot from Android
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