Sometimes breast cancer invites us to look closely at our own bodies the way we might look at famous nudes. Creating visual art can be therapeutic, whether it involves photography or digital. Watercolors, sketches and collages could be empowering, too. This photograph helped me to see how the visual arts can empower women dealing with a disfiguring disease. Art, including poetry and the visual arts, helped me through my mother's diagnosis. While writing poetry is all well and good, and what I tend to focus on, art with provocative poses like Metzger's drew me into exploring the nude.
We have investigated the effects of long-term estrogen withdrawal or tamoxifen therapy of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells growing in the athymic nude mouse to clarify mechanisms by which endocrine therapy inhibits tumor growth. Estrogen withdrawal with or without tamoxifen inhibited MCF-7 tumor growth, but did not cause significant regression, even after 4 months of treatment. Serial histologic studies of treated tumors revealed a reduction in mitotic rate but no significant gross or ultrastructural cytopathic changes. Treated tumors did show a modest increase in stromal fibrosis as well as occasional cytoplasmic or nuclear vacuolization, perhaps indicating early cytopathic effects. Cell viability was confirmed by cloning tumor cells in soft agar; cloning efficiency in treated tumors was similar to that in controls. Tumor fragments from treated mice were also viable and formed tumors when transplanted into estrogen-supplemented but not estrogen-deprived mice indicating continued hormone dependence. When estrogen-deprived or tamoxifen-treated mice were replenished with estrogen, cell proliferation was reactivated and tumor growth resumed.
By Bianca London for MailOnline. A two-time breast-cancer survivor has posed naked for Cosmopolitan magazine in a bid to inspire other women. The year-old said her world turned upside down when she found a lump in her breast in April
If your self-image has been hurt by your breast cancer, you need to work at getting back a positive view of yourself. Are you going to great lengths not to look at the scars on your chest? Your reluctance to face the scars is understandable. But experts on healing suggest it's important to get past this attitude.