On January 28, 2011, breast cancer hit home for me. My mother, a 39-year-old working, middle-class woman, sat my siblings and me down to tell us that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. My family was speechless. We could not believe that this could happen in our family, but it did.

According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among American women. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women.

The American Cancer Society reports that breast cancer patients with diabetes are 50% more likely to die from cancer than those who do not have diabetes. Unfortunately, my mom also suffers from type 2 diabetes. She has struggled with this disease for over 11 years now. Statistics show that cancer patients who also have diabetes are at greater risks of dying from breast cancer. Normally, these facts would not mean a great deal to me, until now.

The American Breast Cancer Foundation says breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts from the cells of the breast. They also report that a malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that may grow into surrounding tissues or spread to distant areas of the body. The tumors are more likely to be malignant when they are firm and irregular shaped. The most common type of breast cancer originates in the breast ducts (ductal carcinoma). A less common type of breast cancer originates in the lobules (lobal carcinoma).

My mom is fighting metastatic breast cancer. The National Breast Cancer Coalition states that because of the studies conducted by doctors and scientists, most breast cancer is treatable, and can go into remission with the proper treatments and physician’s care.

 “I discovered I had breast cancer after a series of mammograms that I had undergone earlier this year,” my mom told me. “I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer that later evolved into metastatic breast cancer.”

Metastatic breast cancer is a stage of breast cancer where the disease has spread to distant metastases. This means that the cancer spread from the breast to other parts of the body. In my mom’s case, it spread to her ribs.

The two types of surgery that she had were a lumpectomy, which breastcancer.org says is a procedure in which only the tumor and some of the surrounding tissue is removed. She had the lumpectomy in May of his year at the American Cancer Institute in Chicago, IL.

She also underwent Gamma Knife surgery. The Gamma Knife surgery, as described by the University of Maryland Medical Center, doesn’t involve a knife at all. Instead, it consists of small doses of gamma radiation aimed at the infected area. The Gamma Knife surgery is normally performed on cancer patients who have brain tumors. Doctors felt this type of surgery was best for my mom because of her issues with diabetes. It was the better choice for my mom because of the way the small doses were injected, instead of large doses. The Gamma Knife surgery was conducted in September of this year.

According to the Siteman Cancer Center of Washington University’s School of Medicine, the two surgeries also require my mother to undergo continuous radiation treatments. These radiation treatments involve the destroying of cancer cells in the breast that may stick around after surgery. The treatments are conducted, as needed, in efforts to keep the cancer in remission.

Related stories: Battling Inflammatory Breast Cancer; Are Athletes More Likely to Avoid Breast Cancer?

“I feel so much better now that I have had the surgeries,” says my mom. “The lumpectomy and the Gamma Knife surgeries have allowed me to live a very normal life. Besides the fatigue, mid-day naps, and the pain, I can function pretty well.”

I am glad to see that my mother is in good spirits and is currently in remission. My mother is bravely fighting this battle.  Me, my sister, and my older brother are fully supportive of her and know that she will come out of this a winner.   

Jaron Steward

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  1. i can relate to this because We discovered that my grandmother had breast cancer. she luckly found it in an early stage and was able to be quickly treated. she did survive, and is now a 2 year survivor.

  2. I thought the article was very influencial. It had a lot of interesting information, and was emotional, and touching. 4 out of 5 stars

  3. I found the article very helpful and informational because my best friend mom had breast cancer and I really didn’t think too much of what she was going through or how painful it was. Luckily she survived and made it through.

  4. im srry for people who have breast cancer, now we know tht doctors can help pacients in need of treatment, let us all stop breast cancer for once, and help, people in need of treatment! :smile

  5. i feel sorry for the people that have breast cancer because when i was reading this story e felt sorry for them but at the same time happy but i hpoe they get better but i feel really sorry for them.:good

  6. I can really relate to this artical because my grandfather was diaignosed with prostate cancer in the fall of 2011

    I feel we should really cherish our days on earth because everyday isnt promised

  7. i really liked this article because it gave you more information about breast cancer. also if you have diabetes then you have a greater chance of dieing. i can somewhat connect by mo mom maybe have cancer beacuse it runs in the family.

  8. This article was very informational . I as well didn’t know much about this kind of cancers or the treatments peaople had to get . I know one of my friend grandmas had breast cancer as well and she fully recoverd but sorry to hear about what happend to your mom and It’s good to know she overcame it and is doing better !

  9. i really liked this article because it told me about what can happen when you get breast cancer. also i hope your mom is ok.It’s sad to know that people have to live with this struggle.:wuwu

  10. An Excellent article! I’m sorry to hear about your struggle but God always has a plan. But this article was Very resourceful and very well written!