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    Just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month comes a major breast cancer breakthrough. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted accelerated approval to the drug Perjeta for use on patients with early stage breast cancer before surgery. The drug's intended use? For patients with "HER2-positive, locally advanced, inflammatory, or early stage breast cancer who are at high risk of having their cancer return or spread or of dying from disease." The quick explanation? This is the first drug for pre-operative breast cancer treatment EVER approved by the FDA. Translation: This is a big deal.

    So what's this accelerated approval business mean? Well, that patients will have access to the drug as trials continue. Apparently, a promising study showed that the drug is effective, which is all the FDA needed to see to give it the go-ahead.

    It's ... exciting, and couldn't come at a better time.

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    I can't say that I'm particularly looking forward to it (at all) -- but in another couple weeks, I'll be getting my very first mammogram. And I honestly didn't think I'd be having one for at least a few more years. I'm only 36 and I always thought mammograms weren't anything I'd have to deal with until I turned 40.

    But in an effort to conquer my anxiety about having one and go ahead and get it over with -- my appointment is booked and I'm taking the plunge.

    And I guess since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, my decision to have one couldn't have come at a more appropriate time. Plus, it's no secret that mammograms are such a huge part of early breast cancer detection, so to say they are a little important is a huge understatement.

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    This morning when I got into work, I found a message waiting for me. It was from the husband of a friend of mine: "Cherie passed away Tuesday from metastatic cancer..." Cherie, who I'd known nearly 20 years. Cancer?!? What cancer? I scrolled through my emails to find the last time I'd heard from her. It was June 14, when she congratulated a mutual friend on a new job: "Great news!" she'd said. "What are you looking forward to in your new job?" She was diagnosed with cancer just a week after that, June 22. It ravaged her quickly.

    I never got to tell her goodbye.

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    If the story about the woman diagnosed with "ghetto booty" didn't horrify you enough, here's another story out of Texas of a woman misdiagnosed with ... stage IV terminal breast cancer. Ugh. Herlinda Garcia's doctor, the late Dr. Ahmad I. Qadri, misread the results of a PET/CT scan and incorrectly thought she had enlarged lymph nodes. The mistake was not noticed until after Garcia had basically been through hell and back, believing she was dying of breast cancer! WOW.

    In 2009, Garcia underwent surgery to remove a benign tumor from her left breast, so when Dr. Qadri said she had breast cancer about a month later, she didn't question it. The mother of four gave away her belongings and wrote a bucket list. She proceeded to undergo seven months of chemotherapy treatment and was given anxiety meds to help cope with stress. It wasn't until 2011 that Garcia found out she had been cancer-free since April 2009! Absolutely outrageous.

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    Gee, that Gwyneth Paltrow's so fashionable! She must have unwittingly started a trend of celebrities giving annoying quotes about their (not so?) healthy lifestyles ... Because here comes Nicki Minaj, August covergirl for Marie Claire who has confessed that she doesn't owe her covetable curves to a sweaty workout regimen. In fact, she claims, "I don't work out. I hate it." Huh?

    She elaborates, "I don't mean to sound super lazy. I tried it for a time. I lost my boobs. When I feel I need to lose weight, I just change what I eat. I cut out carbs and sugar. I'll do water and protein and fruit. But I do think that you should work out. Do cardio." Ohhh jeeeze. So much of this is so wrong.

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    Leading philanthropist and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, has been hospitalized since last night, when she was flown to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, after being stabilized by doctors at Nantucket Cottage Hospital, according to a spokesman for John Kerry. Reports note that the 74-year-old breast cancer survivor was admitted to the E.R. in Nantucket at 3:30 p.m. yesterday. Today, she's said to be in "critical but stabilized" condition.

    Although the Kerry family is "grateful for the outpouring of support it has received and aware of the interest in [Teresa's] condition," according to the Secretary of State's personal spokesman, they haven't confirmed any details about Heinz Kerry's condition or illness. However, the AP reports that a person in close contact with the family -- who spoke on condition of anonymity -- has said that her symptoms were "consistent with a seizure." 

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    Every now and then, we get a new horror story about breast implants wreaking havoc on a (unsuspecting?) woman's body. Some may see them as sensationalistic melodramas, while others believe they're cautionary tales. Either way, it's pretty frightening to hear that recently, a Chinese woman's breast implant ruptured as a result of her simply lying on her stomach for four hours.

    The woman is reportedly all about a phone game called "Dragon Summon" and was engrossed with playing it while lazing around. I'm sure that her breast implant exploding was the furthest thing from her mind. As it should have been!

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    There's a time and a place for an F-bomb, but sometimes, it's OK to say eff it and break all the rules. Three sisters were shopping for funeral dresses in the King of Prussia mall in Philadelphia on Sunday when they were asked to leave. Their mother had just passed away from breast cancer, and Makia Underwood, 32, Zakia Clark, 29, and Tasha Clark, 27, felt like expressing their feelings. Wearing shirts and hats that read "Fu*k Cancer," the sisters were ejected from the mall by seven security guards who did not appreciate the profanity.

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    It's been a big week for something near and dear to moms' hearts. Literally. Actress Angelina Jolie set off a firestorm of debate this week over testing for the BRCA gene, aka the "breast cancer gene," when she announced she'd not only been tested, but she'd undergone a double mastectomy too.

    It's a move some are calling brave, others stupid, while still others have been empowered by the celebrity mom's announcement to come out and talk about their feelings about whether or not women really need to know what could happen to their bodies decades into the future.

    So should moms be rushing to their doctors, begging to be tested so they know if they need to prepare their kids for the worst?

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    The world was shocked yesterday when Angelina Jolie revealed that she had had a double mastectomy because she had an 87 percent chance of getting cancer due to being a carrier of the BRCA1 gene. Her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died at age 56 of ovarian cancer, and Angelina will likely have her ovaries removed next. She's said she wants to make sure that she is around for her six children and they don't need to fear losing her within the next decade or so. You would think that any woman going through such a thing would bring out people's compassionate side, and it did in many. But there was the sadly predictable cawings from the haterade crowd. They are the ones who immediately began making breast jokes. Who actually blamed Angelina's cancer on her affair with Brad Pitt.

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