The Climbing Daddy, The Kid, and I went to a Phoenix Mercury game over the weekend. It so happened that it was “Rock the Pink” night. I was not excited.
They honored breast cancer survivors, which was nice, and every seat had a pink Rock the Pink rally towel on it. Pre-recorded interviews with some of the players were aired during halftime and, much like the overwhelming majority of breast cancer-related PR, it made me angry.
I’ve said this a bazillion times and I’ll say it a bazillion more: early detection is not prevention.
Repeat after me: early detection is not prevention.
Early detection is not prevention.
Getting a scan doesn’t prevent breast cancer. It begins a diagnosis.
There are a few cancers that will give you some benign heads ups before turning cancerous. Breast cancer isn’t one of them (as far as we know).
With early detection, you have cancer. You’ll have one or more of: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation; you’ll acquire all of the accompanying baggage.
If you’re lucky, you’ll only have tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. (I had really good insurance when I went through mine, but the totals were around $250,000.)
You might lose your memory, your mobility, your fertility, your friends, your spouse, your job, your energy, your hair (and other facets of your appearance, some of which don’t recover). And, since early detection isn’t a guarantee, at the end of all that, you might still lose your life.
You’ll lose peace of mind.
Weigh that against prevention.
Prevention is inconvenient because carcinogenic things are cheap, easy, convenient, tasty. Preventative habits are not the norm in the US, so they’re cumbersome and require solid planning to maintain.
But there’s no surgery, chemo, radiation; few potential negative short- or long-term side effects, and I’m stretching for the examples I can think of.
It’s worth it.
(And it applies to all the cancers, not just breast cancer.)