I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and came across an update from a friend who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her update is irrelevant for the sake of this blog post but it was something related to her impending treatment. What really got me was one of the replies. It read:
“Hope yours is the easy one.”
When I read this, I whipped out my iPhone and furiously typed out “MUST DEBUNK MYTH THAT THERE IS AN EASY CANCER!”
You see, I had what is probably considered the “easy” kind of breast cancer. But, nothing about treatment or survivorship has been easy. I think a comment like this minimizes everything from the diagnosis, the fears, the feelings, and the strength we draw upon. Cancer is cancer is cancer.
I so totally get that people don’t exactly know what to say when they learn a friend has cancer. So this person’s reply is actually a very typical response. My problem is that it’s rooted in misconception.
There are tons of variables when it comes to a breast cancer diagnosis. Hormone positive breast cancers are thought to be the easiest to treat. Patients with hormone positive cancers have more treatment options and long term hormone-blocking therapies. The prognosis is better for women with hormone positive cancers and thus survival rates are better. Easier to treat does not equal easy.