Navigation Links
Woman Describes How Breast Cancer Changed Her Life

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For Diana Rowden, life changed in various ways when she was diagnosed with breast cancer 20 years ago.

During a routine gynecological exam when she was 38 years old, the doctor examining her breasts thought she felt something unusual.

"She didn't feel a lump," said Rowden, now 58 and living in Dallas. "She felt a thickening of the left breast. That was the first indication something might be wrong."

The doctor recommended that Rowden have a mammogram. She'd had a screening mammogram at age 35, so the technicians had a basis for comparison. "They could detect a change in the left breast," Rowden said. "From there, they recommended I have a biopsy."

Worry set in, she recalled.

"I had a friend who was diagnosed at age 36, so I was a little bit concerned," Rowden said. "But I wasn't freaked out. I just wanted to follow up and head off any problems."

This was back in the days before minimally invasive needle biopsies so Rowden had a surgical biopsy, during which they found no cancer but did find areas of abnormal cell growth that put her at high risk for developing breast cancer.

Rowden said she was given two courses of action: They could monitor her closely, performing quarterly breast examinations, or she could have a bilateral mastectomy to remove her left breast.

"I ended up opting for the surgery, based on a feeling that I needed to take care of it," she said. Her mother had died of uterine cancer four years earlier, and Rowden said she's certain that weighed in her decision.

Her instincts were more correct than she could have known.

During the surgery, doctors found a tumor in her left breast, in a different area than what had been biopsied.

"I was actually quite relieved," Rowden recalled of hearing the news that she did, in fact, have breast cancer. "I had basically felt like, well, at least I didn't have this surgery for nothing."

After the tumor was tested, Rowden said, an oncologist told her that she could have chemotherapy but it might not be of much use. "He said it wouldn't buy me much benefit because I had a particularly slow-growing tumor," she said. "He presented it as my choice. I decided not to have chemotherapy."

She has remained cancer-free. However, she explained, breast cancer altered the course of her life.

She had been a technical writer, working on software manuals that few people ever read. After her surgery, she became a breast cancer advocate and now works as the vice president of survivorship and outcomes for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a nonprofit group focused on combating breast cancer .

Among the most important advice she gives to women diagnosed with the disease, she said, is to slow down and take your time.

"It's not an emergency in terms of making a decision today," she said. "I think it's helpful to give people permission to do a little homework and think about the decisions they have to make."

More information

A companion article details advances in breast cancer treatment.

SOURCE: Diana Rowden, vice president, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Dallas

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Brooke Burke Named Spokeswoman for underWAY(TM), Americas First All Natural Appetite Suppressing Beverage & Thirst Quencher
2. Pregnancy Weight Gain, Especially in 1st Trimester, May Increase a Womans Risk of Gestational Diabetes
3. DNC Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Praises President Obamas Leadership on Bipartisan Health Reform Summit
4. Congresswoman Maloney To Be Keynote Speaker: Momentum Builds for Hysterectomy Informed Consent Legislation
5. VCU Pauley Heart Centers 2009 Dr. Carolyn McCue Award for Woman Cardiologist of the Year Goes to Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D.
6. iVillage Prescribes New Health Site for the Modern Woman
7. Law Firm Dussault and Zatir Settles Lawsuit Involving 92-Year-Old Woman Knocked Down by Neighbor's Dog
8. Woman with MS Summits Everest and Completes the Seven Summits
9. Triple Heart Valve Replacement Saves Local Women's Life at Portneuf Medical Center: Woman Gets a Second Chance at Life After Taking Fen-Phen
10. Given No Chance to Survive with Pancreatic Cancer, Chicago Woman Finds New Life at Northwest Community Hospital
11. With Rainy Season Looming, Florida Woman Rushes to Aid of Haitians
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... Viejo, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 ... ... users a new set of retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This ... style options. These classically-influenced trailer titles work with any font, giving users limitless ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... IN (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... water accessible for all, Water For Empowerment ™ attracts volunteers together who ... clean water by empowering women as key stakeholders in the process. The non-profit ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... TyloHelo Inc , North ... , Sauna accessories help improve the bather experience in the sauna, and the ... for the purist looking for simplicity in design to accessories that encourage a ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Friendswood, TX (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... through the companies’ “ Two Organizations, One Beat ” campaign. The partnership between the ... its services to aid in MAP International’s cause. , MAP International was founded in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 25, 2015, officials of Narconon ... announced the release of a new cutting edge recovery program that has been 50 ... with drug- and alcohol-addicted individuals with the purpose to free addicts from the symptoms ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ... Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive ... offering. --> ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, ... Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ... Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" ... --> --> This new 247-page ... therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: