Highway to the danger zone

How, with no family history of breast cancer and no BRCA mutation, did I, at 29 get breast cancer? Is it because I once tried to smoke a cigarette when I was 16? Is it because I eat red meat? Or delicious processed meats, like hot dogs, bologna, and spam!? Was it all the cheese? What about all the booze? Is it because I was once 70 pounds overweight? Is it because I felt stressed for like, oh I don’t know, seemingly my entire life over dumb shit that now seems completely trivial?

When I was diagnosed, I didn’t, and still don’t, feel sick. Not one bit. Actually, I was in the best shape of my life and feeling absolutely fantastic! I was super confused… the problem is that no one knows exactly what causes breast cancer. Since my cancer was not genetic, it is considered to be environmental, yet no one can tell me what in the environment actually caused my cells to mutate.

According to the “experts”, there are a number of environmental and lifestyle factors that put women at risk of developing breast cancer, such as a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, being overweight and frequent consumption of alcohol. Interestingly, I basically lived this “risky” lifestyle in my early-mid 20s! I rarely went to the gym or even took a walk, was overweight, ate cheeseburger subs on the regular, and was a frequent guest to any happy hour within a 5 mile radius of my office. So did my lifestyle lead to the development of cancer? Maybe. Will I ever really know? Nope.
August 19, 2017 by Stephanie Nichols