Letters to the Editor

Surviving cancer

I had to go back and re-read the statement in Beatriz Amendola’s Oct. 16 piece, Women with breast cancer should examine their treatment options, to be sure that I had read her words correctly.

Did she actually suggest that women opt for bilateral mastectomies because of “vanity and the enticement of getting a tummy-tuck and breast augmentation?” It’s shocking that someone who is on the front lines of breast-cancer treatment could offer such a potentially alienating commentary.

As a woman who underwent a bilateral mastectomy this year, I feel the need to counteract her assumption with a reminder that women faced with a breast-cancer diagnosis are motivated to stay alive, not to look better in a swimsuit.

The idea behind her article — that women should consider their various options in treating breast cancer — is useful and necessary. But the shaming of other women has no place in the conversation.

Karen Toomey-Gibson,