As a two-time breast cancer survivor, I have been carefully watching all of the controversy that has been going on from the testing of young women for the breast cancer gene through the universal health care debates and now, the new recommendations for breast cancer and cervical cancer screening. I have finally reached the point where I am really angry and disgusted with the way that women's issues are being handled in this country. Therefore, I am sending out a call to all women everywhere to stand up and be counted in the fight to allow our own doctors to make the decisions with regard to our personal health and testing needs rather than any insurance company or the federal government or special committee or any other group that might be devised.
I don't know of a single woman who has not been touched by cancer, either personally or through a family member or a friend or co-worker. And every single woman who has ever had cancer or will have cancer is uniquely different just as we are different from each other in every other way. There is no such thing as applying the exact same standards to every person because of these differences and for some federally funded committee to make such a recommendation is the most absurd method of deciding medical care for a woman that I could ever imagine. And furthermore, to exclude breast self-examination as a method of discovering cancer was the straw that broke the camel's back for me as that is exactly how I discovered my own cancer.
I am asking every woman who reads this to share it with all of her friends and family members and to request that each and every one of us contact our legislators and request that they carefully consider their votes on the universal healthcare issue and how it will affect women's issues. I would also request that you ask those same legislators to additionally keep an eye on the insurance companies to assure that we get the testing and treatments that are recommended by our doctors as part of our coverage.
This country is not founded on the basis of the survival of the fittest but rather on equality for everyone. We do not allow the taking of another person's life in this country by another individual, even in our healthcare facilities. By not allowing the tests recommended by our trained medical personnel, you are denying medical care to people who may ultimately die as a result. I don't believe that any of us have the right to play God and determine who might live or die. This is the very reason that we continue to fund research for better testing and better treatments and the discovery of a cure for every type of cancer. And the women in this country deserve the best that medicine has to offer. We are all in this together so let's fight together. We can win if we are willing to speak up. Believe me, it is time that women receive equal treatment in medical matters.
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more