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Breast cancer treatment through SUS saved Fátima’s life — CMIO(Brazil)

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After observing the retracted right nipple, Fátima Castro decided to go to the gynecologist for an evaluation. It was in an MRI scan that the doctor detected a spiculated lump hidden behind the nipple. “The feeling I had was death. I spent a week in the air, until I took action”, confesses Fátima.

A resident of Guará (DF), Fátima, now 59 years old, discovered breast cancer in 2015. Despite the scare with the diagnosis, she went in search of treatment with a positive mindset. “I told myself: you only have two options. Either you face it or you give up. I never considered the second option, so I moved on,” she recalls.

Fátima underwent her first surgery with the aim of removing a part of the tumor for biopsy. The result showed a malignant tumor, so it was necessary to remove the central quadrant of the right breast.

During the treatment, Fátima underwent four chemotherapies and 35 radiotherapy. “To this day, I do supplementation at the Hospital de Base, periodic exams and I take the medication that the hospital provides”, says she, who also felt the loss of her long hair. “I even bought a wig before I went bald. Nobody saw me bald. Not even my neighbors on the balcony knew I was sick”, assumes Fátima.

Often self-esteem can be directly linked to appearance. Fátima confides that this period was very difficult, because in addition to her hair, she lost her eyelashes, eyebrows, nails and a part of her breast, but she knew it was temporary and she would win this battle. “My family was my pillar. At the time I had a boyfriend who was very present. He was with me in and out of surgeries. We cannot live without this support”, she declares.

Fátima had a good reaction to the chemotherapy sessions and did not want to leave work. “Another bad memory is the taste. Everything I ate tasted like iron. It didn’t taste like anything. I had no idea of ​​the amount of salt, I needed help,” she reports.

Also through the Unified Health System (SUS), Fátima underwent breast reconstruction surgery. The doctor removed a part of the other breast to match the two and also took some of the eyelid skin to reconstruct the nipple. The breast is not the same as before, but Fátima felt very good when she saw the result.

Today she feels victorious and smarter than ever. “I’ve become more sensitive to my body’s signals and I wish other women were alert too. For those who are in the healing process, don’t give up and don’t be ashamed to ask for help. The SUS has open doors for treatment, but family and friends can also support”, concludes Fátima.

Karol Ribeiro
Ministry of Health



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