Breast Cancer – why me?

by Rosanna Bianchini, Practitioner of Universal Medicine Therapies, Evesham, UK

Just recently a girlfriend came to me to let me know she had breast cancer. She has not been the first, nor will she be the last to do so.

The diagnosis of breast cancer would hit any woman hard, and raise in them all kinds of possible questions to try to find the answer to: ‘Why me?’ The response to the news from my friend was no different; she confided that she didn’t know why this was happening to her, that she was not a bad person and, as breast cancer didn’t actually run in her family, she could not understand the seemingly ‘out of the blue’ development of this disease.

These are all very understandable and natural questions to be asking, and one that world statistics beg us also to ask is: ‘Why? What is going on?’

Records show us that we do indeed have every reason to be asking questions. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012, and it is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in 140 of 184 countries worldwide. It now represents one in four of all cancers in women.1 And 9 out of 10 women who get breast cancer do NOT have a family history of the disease.2

It is evidently a fact that it is not becoming less common for a friend, mother, daughter, sister, auntie or grandmother coming to tell us that they have developed cancer; quite the contrary, the figures show us that the incidence rate of breast cancer for women in the UK has increased over the last 40 years by a staggering 89%.3

However, it is not just the UK that has such an alarming incidence of breast cancer; it is in fact a disease that has become the most common cancer in women both in the developed and less developed world.4

These are phenomenal statistics. But breast cancer alone represents only a fraction of life threatening disease. It is an inconceivable statistic if we are to include other cancers that affect women specifically – cervical cancer for example is the most common cancer in women under 35 in the UK 5 ­– let alone and before we even start to add in the lives lost or affected by other cancers not specific to women like colorectal cancer, which is currently the second leading cause of cancer related deaths among women and men in the US.

When we start to group just these three cancers together, we begin to feel the devastating number of lives per year that are significantly affected by the disease. Cancer is an emotive disease and has attracted a lot of attention in the media, support campaigns and charities, yet women are almost three times more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer – it is in fact the number one killer of women in Australia.6

So to step back and add the many other devastating conditions to the picture, like cardiovascular disease (of which 8.6 million women die from worldwide each year) we can feel how chronic illness in the world today is not just prevalent, but is increasing… and affecting us at ever younger ages.7

If this number of women affected were not enough to knock us into asking deeper questions, then add into the equation the ripple of people whose worlds are rocked by the news that their mother, wife, sister, daughter, dear friend or work colleague has been touched by this disease and we can start to feel the true effect of the decline in health of women (as well as men).

So back to the question: “Why me?”

What we are really asking is: “Why did I get this disease?”

As it is such a prevalent question, it is a question we could in fact pose in response to any disease; from flu to thyroid conditions to stroke, diabetes, HIV… all these ailments can provide us with a way of understanding ourselves and bring an understanding of the relationship we have between the choices we make on a day to day basis and their effect – instantly or cumulatively over time – on our health and wellbeing.

I know this to be true from my own experience, and recognise the downward spiral that in this instance pulled me towards illness…. Do too much…. get tired…. too tired to bother eating well… no energy to look after self…. push on through to get it all done… body totally exhausted… running on stress and nervous energy… and finally an uncontrollable, overactive thyroid condition. That brought me to a STOP. And to a point where I started to search for answers to what really goes on with illness and disease, and how can we support our bodies back to a healthy life.

While in this exhausted but heightened state, my delicate system had no tolerance, and so I could acutely feel that the choices I made had a direct impact on how I felt and how my body was reacting to those choices. The food I chose, the way I lived my day and the rest and recuperation I allowed myself all made an impact. However it wasn’t until I came across Universal Medicine and the presentations by Serge Benhayon that things started to really fall into place and that I could get a far wider understanding.

He introduced that we feel everything and that there is always a cause and an effect relationship to any one activity, whether that’s a thought, something that is said or indeed the things we do. So the link between how I feel… and the choices I make… and how well I feel, was one that I was inspired to experiment with and still continue to explore.

I now know from experience that my body can tell me loud and clear if something feels supportive, nourishing or loving for it – and, when it does not. I don’t always choose what my body is advising, but I then have to live with the consequences while my body’s reaction to that choice plays out. Yet I’ve come to feel how it is not just food or drink that causes a reaction in my body and takes it away from a balanced state, it could just as easily be pushing myself too hard in exercise, or a cross word, or the thoughts of ‘too much to do’ or even seeing or hearing something which we can sometimes take on – and then still feel it with us well after the event.

Our body is continually noting everything, and when we don’t pay attention it easily gets loaded, setting off on its way from harmony to dis-ease to illness. We will all have our own disposition towards certain illnesses (my vulnerable system was my hormonal system, hence the breakdown into a thyroid condition), but what I can say is that becoming aware of my choices and how they affect my body and consequently my health and wellbeing, has brought me to feeling and being the healthiest I have been since I can remember really, and certainly feeling more vital and light than I was even in my twenties. For example a blocked nose, a backache, a cold or feeling down, are all ways my body could start to tell me something. I can then track it back to certain things I’ve eaten or done that day (or maybe over the last few days), which have left my body trying to cope with those things that haven’t actually been supporting it to stay well and healthy. It was the long-term way I ignored my body’s little signals that lead to such a huge breakdown; but large or small, I’ve found that by noting them and making the changes the body is asking for, we can be shown another way to live.

So the ‘Why me?’ is a welcomed inroad into exploring what choices in life we can make to instigate our own positive changes and bring back an awareness to our day to day choices. Along with the huge advances in medicine, we are able to support ourselves back towards health and wellbeing and show there is a way to start bucking the trends of those staggering statistics.

R E F E R E N C E S

1) World Cancer Research Fund. www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/data-specific-cancers/breast-cancer-statistics

2) Queensland Government, Breast Health, 14th Feb 2014. www.health.qld.gov.au/breastscreen/breast-health.asp

3) Office for National Statistics UK. http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations–england–series-mb1-/no–42–2011/sty-breast-cancer-survival.html

4) WHO – World Health Organization – Breast cancer prevention and control. http://www.who.int/cancer/detection/breastcancer/en/index1.html

5) Cancer Research UK. www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerinfo/cancerstats/keyfacts/cervical-cancer/

6) Heart Foundation, Australia, Women and Heart Disease. www.theheartfoundation.org/heart-disease-facts/heart-disease-statistics/

7) Heart Foundation USA, Heart Disease Scope and Impact. www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/women-heart-disease/Pages/default.aspx

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:

Lifestyle Choices and Breast Cancer Prevention by Jane Keep

Responsibility for my Body and Health: The Lesson I Learned from my Mother’s Breast Cancer by Penny Scheenhouwer

Rediscovering Tenderness Post Breast Cancer: Inspired by the Esoteric Breast Massage by Judith McIntyre

The Invitation Breast Cancer Brings: A Deeper Self-Examination by Adrienne Ryan

503 thoughts on “Breast Cancer – why me?

  1. What are our lifestyles contributing to our health, this is so common a way of being for so many today, is it any wonder it leads to health problems… ‘recognise the downward spiral that in this instance pulled me towards illness…. Do too much…. get tired…. too tired to bother eating well… no energy to look after self…. push on through to get it all done… body totally exhausted… running on stress and nervous energy… ‘ Then, after years of living like this, we ask ‘why me?’.

  2. I recently had a mammogram and was relieved when the doctor told me that there were ‘only a few cysts’ and she wasn’t worried about them. Yet isn’t the fact that we consider lumps in our breasts ‘normal’ a worrying situation in itself? What if our breasts were meant to be clear, light and lump-free, and the fact that they are not is communicating a form of disharmony in the body and reflecting back to us the ways in which we’re living? Definitely something to look more closely at: what’s worrying is our definition of normal – that it’s considered totally fine, almost expected, to push oneself all of the time, to keep doing and doing, until the body finally breaks down with a very loud stop sign in the form of illness or disease.

  3. Many of us eat the right foods, go to bed at a reasonable hour and get regular exercise too – yet Cancer happens to us despite these facts. We sit there thinking that it is unfair, that we did everything we were asked to do -but is this really true? As you brilliantly offer Rosanna what if there is a part of life we have ignored? What if this energetic quality we choose is a big barometer of true health? If this is the case just how is it that I live right now?

  4. The “Why me” question is related to believing that illness and disease just happen and are a matter of luck, which most of us subscribe to because we don’t want to be the one responsible for our cancer etc. But we are now told by science that more than 50% of illness and disease are because of lifestyle choices, so there is no luck in that proportion of illness and disease. The true figure will probably one day be realised to be 100% rather than 50% but if we accept the over 50% for now, there is clearly a huge amount that we can all be doing to avoid illness and disease.

  5. The answer to the question ‘why me?’ is that we all do know deep down that our daily lifestyle choices are directly responsible for the quality of our life, our health and our wellbeing. So the answer to ‘why me?’ is an uncomfortable one, it is – ‘because that is how I have chosen to live’.

  6. ‘And 9 out of 10 women who get breast cancer do NOT have a family history of the disease.’ Does this then mean we should all go and get our breasts removed so they, ( our breasts) can’t get it? I don’t think so. Time to wake up to the responsibility we have to look after ourselves as women, to not only look after our breasts but every part of us and to really consider what this means, to basically get more honest and be willing to make changes and release the hold of the convenient belief that ‘if I am going to get it I will get it anyway’ which keeps us on the path towards, rather than away from, cancer and keeps us feeling powerless when in truth we are far from it.

  7. It does surprise me that ‘9 out of 10 women who get breast cancer do NOT have a family history of the disease.’ It goes to show that there is more at play than our genetics. We cannot blame our genes for this statistic.

    1. That is true, there might be several different diseases, some genetic, some environmental or perhaps there are multiple pathways for the one disease.

  8. A key point here is that illness of any sort, and in particular something as serious as cancer, provides the opportunity to STOP. They have a pretty impressive way of doing that to people’s lives. But the next question is where do we go from there? Are we looking for someone to repair us so we can carry on the same path, with the same behaviours that led us to the stop in the first place and will inevitably lead us back there again. Or is it an opportunity to review how we are living and make some different choices? Choices that will lead us to a different conclusion….

  9. Love how you pose the ‘Why Me’ question as an opportunity to explore how we have been living up to that point that has led to our body breaking down into dis-ease. We are offered often multiple Stop moments and it is our choice if we continue to see ourselves as victims or are inspired to start making different choices to support our bodies lovingly. With the ever increasing statistics of disease worldwide it is clear that we need to have a different approach and by starting to take responsibility for how we are living day to day we will feel more empowered than waiting for the next bout of ill-health to strike us and our increasingly over burdened health systems.

  10. It seems prostate cancer kills more men than breast cancer kills women but the men tend to be much older than the women, hence the different levels of attention.

  11. Conditions bring not just a time of intense interaction with medicine but also of intensity in the interaction with yourself and those you are in relation with. Although it is not our first choice, conditions also bring to us the option of accepting that we have a relationship with it that it did not just start, but one that is ongoing and that requires us to go there in order to change it.

  12. The fact that the majority of women who develop breast cancer do not have a family history of the condition blows the whole commonly held myth about it being genetic. So if it is not genetic there must be something else going on and it could well be lifestyle choices. Are we ready to consider this at least as a possibility and really start to investigate this idea further?

  13. I guess it’s not a pleasant question to ask, why me? Why cancer? But with an approach that is not self bashing and is open, then we may find there are many more things to life and illness than we previously considered.

  14. A great piece of research Rosanna. I can understand why we ask the question “why me” but it brings us to look honestly at the way we have been living and making changes now. With an open mind and a willingness to do our part in self nurturing of our body it is given the best chance of making a new start!

  15. Why me? is often coming from a place of victimhood but to, instead, allow a self responsibility space and track back how we have been living and how factors could have contributed to our present situation puts the power back into our own hands and the chances of recovery, or at least of healing, grow incrementally; at least this is my experience, and observation, to date.

  16. I am amazed by the fact that genetics play only a small role in the extent of breast cancer in Australia. I know of so many women who are very worried about the prevalence of breast cancer in their family of origin, yet they don’t realise that how they live as women seems to be emerging as the biggest factor in breast cancer. We really need research on this, to show people the link, although it make common sense, some people need to see the study results in order to believe this could be the case.

  17. A close relative of mine has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. It was interesting to hear such news as the person was not at all emotional and delivered it with saying that it was a chance to look at how she had been living and make a few changes in life. It was quite remarkable.

  18. How bewildering and disempowering to think of illness and disease is the result of punishment for being bad or luck.
    What a huge contrast it is to understand as stated here that we feel everything and every choice action and even thought has an impact, and what we are faced with in our illness and disease is a reflection of how we have been living. And our body is flagging it for us to see, plus it is also helping us clear the impact like a runny nose helps us clear the excess phlegm.
    It is just a start of a loving conversation to help us be more aware and responsible in our lives.

  19. Taking responsibility for our own health makes so much sense. Listening to my body and honouring what it tells me, something I never did before attending Universal Medicine presentations. Yet nowadays this seems so obvious. So obvious, yet we are not taught this as a matter of course when growing up. Then understanding that our body is always trying to heal, and a major diagnosis will show a major level of disregard. Time to stop, listen and feel what our remarkable body is saying to us.

  20. Knowing that we can do something about our own state of health is so empowering. Making new lifestyle choices and changes will result in different outcomes. If we make no changes then we get the ‘same old’, hence perhaps the reoccurrence of many secondaries of cancer?

  21. It is irresponsible to report what is happening in the world (ill-health statistics) and latest medical cures without asking the fundamental question ‘why is the world full of predominantly sick, not a healthy people?’ How did this come about? We have a beautiful god given glorious planet and inhabitants who over consume, are dependent on stimulants of all kinds, eat foods detrimental to true health and live exhausting lives. We get sick because we choose the path of ill-health, not well-being. There is a clear choice and the responsibility is global, not just down to individuals. Give people information that supports and inspires them to take more care of themselves, not less.

  22. I read this recently ‘ The tiny Samoan islands have among the highest rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in the world’ (1) And why? ‘Unhealthy, imported foods flooded supermarkets and Samoans developed a taste for cheap fast food. And as these countries’ economies modernized, more and more Samoans started working desk jobs. Cars and buses replaced walking’. In other words Samoans who ‘used to — and still do — grow their own food. Their traditional diet consisted of mostly taro, breadfruit, coconut, bananas and seafood — very healthy stuff’ abandoned their way and chose an imported, imposed and ‘easier?’ way to their cost. This is an example of irresponsibility on a global scale, and how toxic western life-styles infects and destroys previously simple and healthy communities.

    (1) Daily Mail http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/04/07/473371279/is-samoa-s-obesity-epidemic-a-harbinger-for-other-developing-nations

  23. “Why me?”, a short and simple but interesting question. It would be important how we ask it as well, what our motivation is. Motivation can be a harsh word but just meaning if the “why me” comes from not understanding what is going on for yourself and looking for a solution or fix then you could say this is a motivation to get better in some way. While if we look at the world today most I see have profound experiences when they become seriously unwell. It maybe too far to say these experiences are a blessing but many voice this afterwards. Why wait or why do we wait for the “why me” and why aren’t we active in knowing why. I mean why me now, why when everything is before me do I make choices or override feelings that I know from experience support me? There is something greater, not greater in power but greater in momentum at play here. If we choose to smoke, which we can and we smoke a packet a day for 6 months it almost becomes just a part of life. Yet we know that is a serious risk to your health but because it so ingrained you could be a why me at the report phase if it ever comes to you. At that point of why me in this example you would have to look at your choice to smoke and really from the statistics you could really just stay with that part. But why do some have lung cancer and others not, why do some get it early and others have it that don’t even smoke? So, like the article is saying there is another significant factor at play and the ‘how we are’ or the ‘quality we are’ comes into play.

  24. “I don’t always choose what my body is advising, but I then have to live with the consequences while my body’s reaction to that choice plays out. ” It’s a very good thing that our bodies ultimately keep us honest and in check. However seemingly wayward we are or have been, the body has a way of correcting, discarding and therefore healing. Amazing and wonderful… and reflective of the fact there is so much more to us than we generally care to think.

  25. Cancer is definitely on the increase, and the more we openly talk about it the easier it is to have a conversation without being frightened of the word cancer, and the more we talk about it the greater our understanding of what cancer is, what it might mean for us, and how we might change the choices we make.

  26. Why me? might be a good question to ask. We do need to question deeper why we have any disease and how we were living that brought it to us. We do not yet have the understanding that if we choose to live in harmony we would have less disease, but this understanding is developing. As Serge Benhayon has shared, there is another way to run the human body which, because it is in harmony with itself and all others, doesn’t need the correction of a disease.

  27. “It was the long-term way I ignored my body’s little signals that lead to such a huge breakdown; but large or small, I’ve found that by noting them and making the changes the body is asking for, we can be shown another way to live.” When we take this responsibility for the consequences of our choices then the ‘Why me’ is no longer looking for someone or something else to blame.

  28. Yes, the ‘why me?’ question should probably more accurately be the ‘why not me?’ question as most of us live in long-term disregard of one kind or the other.

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