Today was almost a NAC (Not About Cancer) Day . But then I inadvertently came across an article about Invasive Lobular Cancer (ILC), my breast cancer subtype. Then I went on The Google. Then I felt sick. Then I cried. Then I cried some more. ILC is known as the ‘sneaky’ cancer because of the way it percolates and grows. It stratifies along branches in the breast like a web and can be hard to detect symptomatically, through examination or via mammogram. Around 10% of breast cancer diagnoses are ILC. There may not be a lump, but more of a thickening of the tissue or puckering of the skin. Terrifyingly I had no symptoms when I was diagnosed. ILC is starting to gain more attention in relation to research, discussion and support which is great. It means that there’s hope for earlier detection and more targeted therapies. However, just reading about how ILC differs from the more oft-diagnosed breast cancer reminds me that my recurrence and survivability stats may not necessarily sit within those usually quoted. Added into the mix the rarity of the aggressive pleomorphic variant I had, and I was knocked into a tizz. When I talked to one of my specialists about recurrence fear, they likened it to constantly worrying about getting hit by a truck. Like ILC, the fear is sneaky and can bite you on the arse when you least expect it. I am unwritten, as are you.
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