I had no idea that there was more than one type of breast cancer.
Following mastectomy a friend asked if I still had my nipple.
Everyone asks if I had chemotherapy.
Will the cancer come back?
Am I cured?
My family were surprised at the length of my scar.
I knew nothing about hormone receptors.
I had never heard of Tamoxifen let alone the side effects
I thought I would never be able to lift my arm again.
What did they do with my breast after surgery?
Reconstruction, prosthesis or flat?
Being diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer, aged 48, a non meat eater for over 15 years, fit and active all my life, not over weight, never smoked, two births at the right age and breast fed twice for six months, it was a shock. I was not a candidate for breast cancer. A cancer diagnosis was a whole new challenge and brought me a whole new learning curve. I realised how little I and those around me actually knew about this disease. What did the pink ribbon really mean?
I wanted to try to get across some of the journey, tell the real story and to focus this into an art exhibition. Explicit, expressive and emotional.
Cancer does change lives in many ways and it certainly changed mine.
My thanks go to my fantastic team who have been working on the Breathless Breastless Project since October 2013 and to all our sponsors who have helped make this idea a reality. We were very proud to open our first exhibition at Seventeen, Aberdeen on 12th June 2014.
To all my artists, bloggers, Facebook fans, sponsors, breast cancer survivors and my family, I couldn’t have done it without you all.
Louise Stedman x
A FEW FACTS ABOUT BREAST CANCER
Breast cancer is not one single disease. There are several types of breast cancer. It can be diagnosed at different stages and can grow at different rates. This means that people can have different treatments, depending on what will work best for them.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Around 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Of these about 400 are men.
More than 8 out of 10 people survive breast cancer beyond five years. More than three quarters of people survive it beyond 10 years.
Estimated risk of developing breast cancer according to age
Risk up to age 29, 1 in 2,000.
Risk up to age 39, 1 in 215.
Risk up to age 49, 1 in 50.
Risk up to age 59, 1 in 22.
Risk up to age 69, 1 in 13.
Lifetime risk, 1 in 8.
Both women and men get breast cancer
Every year about 400 men are diagnosed in the UK.
Types of breast cancer:
Ductal breast cancer (70-80%)
Invasive lobular breast cancer (10-15%)
Medullary breast cancer (5%)
Mucinous breast cancer(2%)
Adenoid cystic cancers (1%)
Metaplastic breast cancer
Lymphomas of the breast
Basal type breast cancer
Phyllodes or cystosarcoma phyllodes papillary carcinoma
The treatments used for breast cancer include
• Hormone therapy
• Biological treatments
It is impossible to generalise about breast cancer treatment because there are so many different sets of circumstances. Some of the factors to be considered are
• The type of breast cancer you have
• The size of your breast tumour
• The stage of your breast cancer
• The grade of your cancer cells
• Whether you have had your menopause
• Whether your cancer cells have particular receptors
• Your general health
Information taken from Cancer Research UK.
and Breast Cancer Care
Visit them for further information and support.