Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


October 28, 2013

TIDBITS: Keep fighting the good fight

CROSSVILLE — As a woman in my mid-30s, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t worry about developing breast cancer. I don’t have a family history of the disease, but many women do not have relatives affected when they learn they have breast cancer. I do have several risk factors — primarily I’m a woman and I’m getting older. But there are other risk factors, as well, such as being in my mid-30s and not having had a child, or the fact I smoked for many years.

For a grown-up, cancer is the giant boogeyman hiding under the bed. And I am afraid.

Several years ago, the Chronicle started the breast cancer awareness series to share the stories of breast cancer survivors in our community. It’s a way to remind women to get their annual mammogram and to discuss their risks with their doctors. It also offers encouragement and support to those women, and men, who have fought cancer and won, and to honor those who passed on. We’ve heard from women that were diagnosed at all different stages of their lives with different types of cancer. We’ve even heard from a local man who was struggling with breast cancer, because men are affected, too, but often don’t have the same resources available to them for support and treatment.

I want to thank all those women who shared their stories with me. I am truly humbled, honored and thankful, and I hope I did your stories justice.

During this month of Breast Cancer Awareness, hopefully readers have learned the importance of getting familiar with what’s normal for your body, so that you can recognize changes that need a second look, and the importance of regular screenings appropriate for your age, medical history, family history and personal risk factors. Early detection is the best defense against cancer. The earlier it is identified, the greater the chance of survival and the more treatment options that are available to you.

Research into breast cancer is advancing at an amazing rate, with new breakthroughs all the time. The medical community is researching the cause of breast cancer, including factors we can control, like our diet and behaviors, and things we can’t control, such as our genes. Right now, there’s the Sister Study, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, that includes more than 50,000 women who have sisters with breast cancer. There’s also the Two Sister Study, looking at possible causes of early onset breast cancer. Visit to learn more.

There are also studies on new, better, more effective treatments and preventative treatments.

Researchers are studying ductal carcinoma in-situe, which sometimes leads to invasive breast cancer but, in some women, it may never invade and remain localized. Researchers are looking for ways to help women decide how to best treat such cancers. They’re looking for new lab tests that can help find circulating tumor cells, where cells break away from the tumor and enter the blood stream.

New imaging methods are being studied to see how effective they are in evaluating abnormalities that may be breast cancers, including molecular breast imaging and 3-D mammography.

One of the greatest advances provided by research is discovering that there are different types of breast cancer. A physician I know said that, at one time, there were but two types of breast cancer, left or right. Now, there’s different types that have been identified based on where the tumor is located and if it is localized, in situ, or invasive. There’s also breast cancers that are fed by estrogen or progesterone. There’s triple-negative breast cancer that doesn’t have estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors or an excess of HER2 protein. Today, treatment will depend greatly on which type of cancer is diagnosed, and long-term therapy can be used to reduce the chances of reoccurrence.

There’s a lot going on in the world of cancer research at large, and for breast cancer, in particular. Each new discovery puts us closer to a world without cancer, or a world where cancer doesn’t have to be such a scary word.

To the many survivors, of all forms of cancer, in our community, I salute you and I just want to say, keep up the good fight.

• • •

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. Her column is published on Tuesdays. She may be reached at

Text Only
  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

  • Tidbits: Make the best of your road trip

    I didn’t care for road trips when I was young. It was so confining to have to sit in the back seat, staring out the window for hour after hour, hayfield after hayfield. And when you’re a kid, time doesn’t pass like it does when you get a little older. Just the trip from Jamestown, TN, to Crossville, roughly 30 miles, felt like an eternity!

    July 14, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Biased climate agenda will cost trillions

    For anyone who has been educated in the history of science and scientific method, this whole issue of “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” is an embarrassing and painful exercise.

    July 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Time for an oil change

    The land of Iraq, earlier known as Mesopotamia, has a long history going back to Neanderthal times some 60,000 years ago. Later, around 10,000 years ago, it became the site for some of the most important developments in human history: the invention of the wheel, planting of cereal crops, the development of cursive script, mathematics, astronomy and agriculture. Today it is recognized as one of the cradles of civilization.

    July 8, 2014

  • We the People: American women, be informed and vote

    Voting for today’s Republican Party and its Tea Party members, means you are voting against more than most realize.  This is especially true for women.

    July 8, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014