Traditionally we think that catching cancer "early" before it has spread is the key to getting a good prognosis, but in Canada, having "too small a tumor" means you end up not getting the treatment you need.
The treatment Jill Anzarut, 35, of Canada needed for her tumor was Herceptin -- an expensive drug only covered for those with a certain kind of cancer (HER-2 positive tumors greater than 1 cm). In other words, Anzarut's tumor didn't make the cut (no pun intended).
She wasn't OK with this. However, her doctors weren't able to help her given the way the rules work. She fought and she won.
Last week, Ontario decided to fund the costly breast-cancer drug -- a potentially life-saving drug -- for small tumors, two months after the media picked up Anzarut's story.
The drug's cost is enormous: about $40,000 for a course of treatment, which consists of intravenous medication provided every three weeks for one year, but its success rate is high, too. Why should women have to wait until they are so ill to get it? Why chance it? Anzarut took to the streets (and social media) to get her story out there and the results are obvious.
The lesson here is clear: Be your own advocate and fight for what is right. If you don't have health, you have nothing. If you don't get the answer you want, fight in any way you can to get to where you want to be.
She is an inspiration.
Do you remember to fight for yourself all the time?
Image via GE Healthcare/Flickr