Ahn Tu

I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks before my 31st birthday — invasive ductal carcinoma. This just means that it started in my milk ducts and escaped out to form a tumor. This is the most common form of breast cancer.

I was completely shocked when I found out (as I am sure everyone is and will be) as I went by myself when they told me because I thought this hard lump couldn’t be the ‘C’ word. I had no family history and was so young. I actually thought it was fibrodenoma…which is common non cancerous mass in women and would go away in time. But it didn’t and just kept getting bigger.

So if you can imagine a brick then cut it into 4 sections. One section or a 1/4 of a brick is approximately the size of my tumor on my left breast. You can imagine when it started protruding out like a brick, i got really scared.

Doctors say since ‘I am so young’ I can fight this and win. There is more technological advancements and treatments out there now then ever before.

Because the tumor was so large, chemo will begin first to shrink the brick. There will be 8 treatments every 2 weeks… followed by surgery and then radiation. I was diagnosed at stage 3C…which is one stage away from it spreading to my vital organs. Pretty serious stuff, huh. Plus there was no pain…just thought I was tired from working too much. We’ve all been there.

I wanted to share my story to create awareness. It is also a way to communicate my story so no one has to go through this alone.

If you ever see something suspicious that shouldn’t be there, please don’t hesitate to contact a doctor. I know it’s easier said than done with hectic schedules, but if there’s one thing I can educate anyone about, it’s about early detection. I wish I had gone to the doctor sooner rather than later.