Being diagnosed with cancer of any kind is a devastating experience, especially when that diagnosis is unexpected. I've long been a fan of Sandra Lee's delicious recipes and her efforts to make good food more accessible. I was deeply saddened to learn that she had been unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer this week and my heart goes out to her and those she loves during this difficult time. (Source)
Sandra was diagnosed with a breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) that is a type of cancer that grows in the milk ducts of the breast. The "in situ" part of the name means that the cancer hasn't grown beyond its original birthplace in the breast and hasn't spread to other areas. As a result, the cancer can be removed and effectively cured in the vast majority of cases.
But cure depends on completely removing the cancer. In Sandra's case, the initial surgery didn't remove the whole cancer and further treatment was needed to remove and kill the rest. Sandra did what all women in that situation should do. She sat down with the specialists caring for her, talked through all of the available options, and made a decision that fit her personal goals for her health.
Her story emphasizes the importance of screening for certain types of cancer. Talk to your doctor about your risk for breast cancer and when you should start being screened. The decision is a personal one for everyone based on their family history and other risk factors. Remember, when you start isn't as important as having the conversation, making sure you know what your risk is, and doing what you can to minimize that risk.
I wish Sandra a very speedy recovery from her surgery.
- Mehmet Oz