Our heroines who went through the circles of hell of the "cancer ward" are doing everything to help those who find themselves in a similar situation.
NAIRA VADIYAN, 36 years old, primary school teacher, mother of two sons. Five years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, followed by surgery and long-term treatment
Five years have passed - and now the courses of treatment prescribed for me have been cancelled. It gave me the opportunity to breathe a little - and live on…
Therefore, my advice to all women, even those who consider themselves absolutely he althy: at least once a year to undergo an examination. Moreover, strange as it may sound, even during this period you need to look for a good doctor and a good clinic. Even before the real diagnosis was made, in the Moscow medical center, after the examination, they wrote the conclusion “absolutely he althy” to me. And I left. And my life could have turned out differently if three months later I had not turned to another doctor, who quickly and clearly made the correct diagnosis.
When it comes to oncology, this is a very important question - your life depends on how correctly the tests were done, how accurately the diagnosis was made.
My close friend (she had stage II breast cancer, not such an advanced stage of the disease) forgot to do a very important test for the degree of aggressiveness of the tumor. She was discharged, and a year and a half later she had a relapse - the process began to develop very rapidly, for a long time they could not make an accurate diagnosis, and it was not possible to save her. Of course, life does not tolerate subjunctive moods, but perhaps it would not have lived such a short time…
That's why information is so important. And the examples of women who coped with this trouble - it inspires, gives strength. The first lifeline I hooked on while in the hospital was the story of a woman who had breast cancer and successfully coped with this problem. By the way, it was published in the Domashniy Ochag magazine. I even wrote a thank you note to this woman - it was my psychotherapy during that period, a straw to cling to.
The feeling of loneliness, despite the care and attention that we are surrounded by loved ones, is still present, sometimes there is a feeling that you are on one side of life, and everyone else is on the other. Life flows, and you somehow get stuck and find yourself out of this flow.
Therefore, I would like some social support services to work in hospitals starting from the immediate process of treatment. For example, we had one psychotherapist for the entire hospital. At best, he could listen and sympathize with two or three people, that's all. And this is in Moscow, what can we say about small towns…
So I try to take part in the Together Against Breast Cancer Marches whenever possible. Such actions are also very important because they help inform women and raise funds to equip clinics with equipment, because not all Moscow clinics have even banal mammographs. It is also important to draw public attention to this problem. You know, I came to the last March with my dad, and he was amazed to tears at how sincerely people took part in this movement. Because we are not yet accustomed to philanthropy on this scale.
It is very important that people have a desire to help those who need it - any possible help will be a boon, and this does not require large material costs. After all, the question is not in the amount of money given, but in a sense of empathy, which should be laid down from childhood. The children and I collect toys and things and take them to the orphanage. We started doing this even before I got sick - it was my sister's idea, and our children are involved in this. It is important to do something good for others and raise children by example. My eldest child, for example, already understands all this and tries to help. Unfortunately, this is not available to everyone, you will not sow a seed in every field and it will not germinate everywhere, but you need to sow in any case.
OLGA KOZHEVNIKOVA, 49 years old, mother of two children, medical representative of the Mammology ANO. Underwent two mastectomy operations.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer by accident, at first there was a seal, I was diagnosed with fibroadenoma, which did not require surgery. We went to rest in Egypt, and there I felt a terrible pain - a feeling as if a red-hot metal was applied to my chest. As soon as I returned, I immediately went to the oncologist, and then a malignant tumor was already discovered. After that, I underwent a course of chemotherapy, then there were radiation and surgery - a one-time operation, when immediately after removal an artificial breast is made from my own muscle tissue.
The operation went well, after that I was under observation, everything seemed to be fine. But 4 years later (this is also a hereditary factor - the fact is that my mother died of this disease) I started having problems in my second breast, the process was very painful. You know, when this diagnosis was first made, I had no fear. Even though I knew I was at risk.
But when I was diagnosed for the second time, it was very difficult, because in principle I already knew what would happen next … Thanks to my daughter, who supported me very much. She never left my side, she helped me a lot. And my son, of course, helped. And we were all in a fighting mood. There was no sense of doom, one question arose: “For what? Why did it happen again? After all, I had already passed such a test, and now again, again … And the fact that there would be an operation and everything else, I knew, I understood that it was inevitable, that we had to prepare for this.
I underwent a course of treatment and rehabilitation at the Mammological Center. And when they found out that I had an education in this area (I have two educations - the Institute of Steel and Alloys and the College of Physical Education, where I studied anatomy, massage, therapeutic exercises, psychology, pedagogy), I was offered to work for them. Now I am a medical representative in hospitals where women with this problem are operated on. After the operation, I have conversations with them. I tell you how to behave after such operations, I give recommendations. We talk about what complications can be and how to avoid them, I want them to know where to go for help in case of problems.
This practice has existed for only one and a half to two years. But, unfortunately, it is very difficult to get into hospitals, some administrators hinder, they think that we are pursuing a commercial goal. Although we are supervised by the All-Russian Mammological Center.
The main thing in such events is the psychological factor. A woman needs rehabilitation, she needs to accept and love herself the way she has become. Because there can be many situations in life when you have to talk about it, undress at the doctor's…
I would like to give a part of myself to those women who have been given such a terrible diagnosis, to give them hope and strength to overcome trials - this is the most important thing. Because for the most part, the psychological factor for rehabilitation plays a very important role. If a woman gives up on herself, it is very difficult, and no matter how hard her family and friends try to help, if she does not want to, she will not get out of this stress.
Just imagine, I gather a group, walk around the wards, as a rule, we gather in the dining room or in the corridor, sit down, talk. An hour and a half of such a conversation - you go out as if you were squeezed out. Because if I do not give myself, they will understand that I am deceiving, that there is no soul in what I say. Therefore, I should be as sincere as possible with them, holding meetings with full dedication.
By the way, I have gained confidence in myself after the second operation, I believe that I can overcome it, that I am the same as I was. And I try to infect women with this feeling, this belief in themselves. It really supports the feeling that people come to life after my lectures. They come up to me and say: "You gave us hope that life goes on." And their response gives strength to me.
- Every year more than 50,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in Russia, which is every tenth woman.
- Early stage breast cancer is curable!
- Regular breast self-exams are essential.
- An ultrasound of the mammary glands should be performed from the age of 25-30 1-2 times a year.
- Women over 40 need an annual mammogram.
Women's handbag from the Finnish company Marimekko is equipped with a clasp in the form of a pink ribbon - a worldwide symbol of the fight against breast cancer. All proceeds from its sales will be used to purchase modern diagnostic equipment for Russian cancer centers. By buying this handbag, like other items with a pink ribbon, you are helping to save the lives of thousands of Russian women.
- In the first place - hereditary predisposition. If your close relatives (mother, sister, grandmother) have had breast cancer, this is an occasion for closer monitoring by specialists.
- The second group of reasons are hormonal. Hormones can play a trick on women both because of the so-called “hyperfemininity” (early - before the age of 12 - the onset of menstruation, late - after 55 years - menopause), and because of the suppression of their natural beginning. Therefore, at risk are those who have not given birth before the age of 30, who have not breast-fed, who do not live a regular sexual life, who have had an abortion, who use hormone replacement therapy and, according to some reports, contraceptives - that is, those who lead the normal life of a modern city dweller.
- External causes: stress, ecology, which can be called anti-ecology, malnutrition and physical inactivity (inactivity).
But, even if none of the above items is directly related to you, no one can guarantee that breast disease will not affect you. For the prevention and correction of hereditary cancer, specialists from the Research Institute of Molecular Medicine of the Moscow Medical Academy. Sechenov have developed a unique drug Promisan - a non-hormonal remedy containing natural components, including a complex of minerals. It acts at the molecular level, increasing the body's antitumor defenses and reducing the risk of developing breast cancer.
GALINA KORZHENKOVA, mammologist, candidate of medical sciences, consultant of the Together Against Breast Cancer charity program
BEFORE: Complications after breast surgery are quite common. Is there a standard list of necessary tests and examinations that will help prevent a relapse?
GC: Correct and consistent treatment, which is well-designed by the doctor and strictly followed by the patient, will prevent relapse.
During the first 3 years after the operation, it is necessary to do an ultrasound scan of the postoperative scar and regional lymph nodes every 6 months. Annually - mammography of the mammary glands, X-ray examination of the lungs, ultrasound examination of the liver, radioisotope examination of the skeleton.
BEFORE: What lifestyle changes are needed if breast cancer is diagnosed at different stages: before and after surgery?
GC: If breast cancer is detected in the early stages, then after treatment the patient returns to normal life very quickly, but it is very important to carry out all the necessary follow-up studies mentioned above. The rest of the lifestyle corresponds to the life of a he althy person.
BEFORE: What activities are recommended for women with this diagnosis and what, on the contrary, is contraindicated?
GC: Exercise therapy is indicated, and it should be started as early as possible after surgery, while still in the hospital. Swimming is very useful (after agreement with the attending physician).
It is undesirable to carry weights in the arm on the side where the operation was. Sports that involve lifting weights are prohibited. All physical activity must be agreed with the doctor.
BEFORE: Please continue the list of potentially dangerous external factors: solarium, topless tanning, prolonged exposure to the open sun on the beach…
CH: Factors that are associated with an unhe althy lifestyle: smoking, alcohol, drugs, poor diet, long diets, etc.
ON NAIR: TOP, PANTS, PULLOVER MARKS & SPENCER
ON OLGA: SHIRT, CARDIGAN, MARKS & SPENCER SKIRT