So it is October the cancer month and all women are being urged to go for breast and cervical cancer screening. I too have heard about this more times than I can remember but the courage to go for the test is the problem. I have always been afraid to go for a test for fear that if I turned up with cancer, it would be my death sentence. And who wants to die at 24?
Incidentally, we are told to search or rather examine our breasts for any lumps and that I have always done or so I thought. So I tune in to this radio station (I think it was 2nd October) and there was a doctor talking about breast screening at their hospital. I was only waiting for one assurance before I could walk into a clinic.
Do all lumps in the breast mean one has cancer? That was my question and the doctor assured us that cancer causing lumps are different from other lumps. My next question was what would happen to me if I turned out to have cancer lumps. To this, the doctor said there is treatment which is very effective if one went early enough to hospital.
So I gained some courage and got the guts to go for a test. At the clinic, I didn’t have to insist on being examined by a female nurse or doctor; they were all ladies. She pressed my breasts a little and searched around. That is when my worries were confirmed. The nurse said she could feel something but I needed a scan to be sure. My heart started racing. Long story short, I found my way to the scan room where a certain greenish gel was put on my breasts and a little gadget that looks like a mouse was used to locate the lumps.
The scan showed that I had two lumps, right under my right breast, and as soon as i heard this, i started crying. “I have breast cancer,” I thought. But the nurse told me there was no need to cry because from what she saw, mine were not cancer cells. Getting to my elbows and with my eyes fixed on the screen, I asked how she knew. I am not a doctor so I can’t really explain what she said but she said something about the shape of cancer lumps which differentiates them from other lumps like mine.
I quickly asked how i could get rid of them hoping to be given some tablets to melt them or something like that but she told me I needed surgery. Surgery! on my breasts? Who wants to have scars on their breasts? I needed a lot of convincing and it was not until 4 days later that another doctor talked me into it. He assured me that rarely do such lumps turn cancerous and that it was my choice to wait for them to grow larger or have them removed right away. I decided to remove them. The surgery was barely an hour long and not painful, I was also given strong pain killers and the scar is very small.
I have written this article to encourage all young women to go take the breast cancer, the earlier the better. If I could do it, so can you. From Stellah Atim.
LinkmeUG: Thanks Stellah for sharing your story, this is very inspiring. We at LinkmeUG agree with you, the earlier the better. We have partnered with International Medical Link [IML] located on Buganda Road on Afri courts [behind Wandegeya Police Station] Call Dr. Amon Rukundo for any questions on 0703010264
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