How to put worried mother at ease?

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Question from bbaby: My grandmother and two aunts have died of breast cancer. How do I convince my mother I won't die of the same disease? She has had cysts, but no malignant tumors and my only sister has not shown any signs of breast cancer. I was diagnosed at 41.
Answers - Rosalind Kleban, L.C.S.W. Every breast cancer case is unique and different. Breast cancer is a term that describes many, many different diseases. The knowledge that we have today is vastly improved, very different than in Grandma's day. Success with breast cancer today can be expected and very different than in the old days.

I think what your mother needs is a positive example, somebody who has had breast cancer and has survived for many years. Her own family experience has been a bad experience, but she needs to know that the vast majority of women with breast cancer survive and live long, healthy, normal lives. A good person to think about is Betty Ford. Or Shirley Temple Black. They have lived for 30 or 40 years after a diagnosis of breast cancer. You can also meet people living beyond breast cancer on the discussion boards and in chat rooms here at

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Partners, Loved Ones, Caregivers: Taking Care of You featured Author Marc Silver and moderator Rosalind Kleban, L.C.S.W. answering your questions about how you can take care of your loved one and yourself during and after breast cancer treatment.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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