Terry Arnold’s interview with KWHI 1280 about inflammatory breast cancer, the Yellow Rose Boot Scoot and the importance of research.
Terry Lynn Arnold is founder of the IBC Network Foundation. Angela Alexander, PhD, is clinical studies coordinator for the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Terry Arnold Starts an All-Volunteer Charity to Improve Treatment for Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Terry Arnold has always identified as an advocate. “It’s my way,” she says. When she was younger, she helped establish the first rape crisis program in Fort Bend County, Texas. She is also a founding member of a center that works on missing children’s cases, often partnering with FBI task forces.
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer in which cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast, accounts for 1 to 5 percent of all breast cancers diagnosed in the United States, and it often progresses in a matter of weeks or months. Given that it’s not commonly seen in a mammogram, research into how IBC occurs and what can be done to stop it is crucial.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Rare, But Lethal and Underfunded
Meet Terry Arnold. In 2007, at 49 years old, her right breast became red, hot, and swelled from a C cup to a D. Shuffled around from specialist to specialist, Arnold was given various diagnoses by well-meaning but confused doctors.
Inflammatory breast cancers rare but often lethal
No one knew what to make of Terry Arnold’s right breast.
By the time she was age 49, the breast suddenly became red, hot and swollen. “I thought something bit me,” says Arnold, of Friendswood, Texas. Her doctor, diagnosing her with a pituitary gland infection, prescribed eight weeks of antibiotics.
Why I waited 10 years to have breast reconstruction
Maybe I’m a late bloomer. After being diagnosed with triple-negative inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) in August 2007, I had a double mastectomy at MD Anderson. But I didn’t have breast reconstruction surgery until this March, almost 10 years later.
Why did I wait so long? For many reasons.
Triple-negative inflammatory breast cancer treatment: My journey
I used to wonder if doctors at large hospitals like MD Anderson remembered their patients. Did they ever look up from the charts, tests and body exams to see the face of the person they were treating?
Driven to make a difference
Triple-negative breast cancer survivor helps others celebrate life’s priceless moments
in 2007, after a desperate, four-month search for a diagnosis, Terry Arnold received the news. Her doctor had discovered not one, but two of the most deadly and aggressive forms of breast cancer: triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in both breasts and inflammatory breast cancer in her right breast.
Can-do spirit drives campaign to fight
Although I had an outstanding response to treatment and was living NED (no evidence of disease), I couldn’t celebrate. I was seeing so many women, my TN IBC sisters, some the age of my daughters, struggling to live. I cared about them, and I couldn’t forget them.
It stands to reason that breastfeeding would aid in the good health of that child, as well as the mother. However it is not a magical cloak of protection from a disease that is viewed as seriously as IBC.
Debra Duncan, Terry Arnold and Staci