Check out this post from Michelle Burford at AOL Health.
Nine years ago, 36-year-old pediatrician Dr. Kimberly Bates, pictured left, was like any other successful 27-year-old: She had just finished medical school and had settled into her residency. She and husband were dreaming of the day when they’d have a child when she was hit with an unthinkable diagnosis — breast cancer. As if that weren’t challenging enough, Bates also discovered that she had triple negative breast cancer, a particularly pernicious form of the disease that disproportionately strikes young black women, resists most treatments and offers bleak survival rates. With a single sentence from her oncologist — “you have triple negative breast cancer” — the life Bates had imagined for herself was dramatically altered.
AOL Health had the opportunity to speak to Bates about her breast cancer battle.
AOL Health: How and when did you first discover that you had breast cancer?
Dr. Kimberly Bates: It was nine years ago when I was 27 — I was a third-year medical resident. I was doing a breast self-exam, and I noticed a lump. I’d been doing self-exams about once a month since I was in my early 20s because I have a strong family history of cancer on both sides of my family. My paternal grandmother had breast cancer, as did my maternal grandmother and aunt. I also have an aunt and cousin who had ovarian cancer.
AOL Health: Did you panic when you noticed the lump?
KB: I was a little worried, but I put it in the back of my head. Because I was young, I thought, What are the chances of it being cancer? I thought it was probably a cyst. The lump was firm and the size of a peach pit. It was clearly abnormal, so I called my doctor and scheduled an ultrasound. When I saw the images after the scan, I knew something was wrong. I got this sinking feeling. A biopsy was scheduled.
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