Every year breast cancer touches the lives of millions of women all over the world. Over the next few months, Everywoman will be broadcasting a series of video diaries following one woman's fight with the disease.

Your Views

"Rebecca, I love your attitude, with it you will conquer your cancer. Stay strong and you will continue to inspire allZ".

MrJunoBeach via YouTube

Send us your views

Rebecca Lipkin is Al Jazeera's executive producer in London. Last year Rebecca was diagnosed with a very rare form of breast cancer. It is called inflammatory breast cancer, and it is extremely aggressive, with a lower survival rate than other kinds of breast cancer. We are delighted to say that Rebecca is now in remission and doing well.

Frighteningly, it does not show up through mammogram screening and cannot even be felt because the cancer does not cause lumps. Now Rebecca is getting treatment and we will be following her progress…

Have you or someone close to you had breast cancer? How did it affect you and your family? What were your experiences of treatment?

Watch part one of Rebecca's Diva Diary on YouTube

Watch part two of Rebecca's Diva Diary here (Sept 07) on YouTube

Watch this episode of Breast Cancer Diary and MG Magazine on YouTube 

We want to hear from you so email us at Everywoman@aljazeera.net or click on "Send your feedback" on this page, post a comment on the Your Views section of our website or visit our YouTube channel where you can leave a comment or even a video response.

Your Comments

Rebecca, I love your attitude, with it you will conquer your cancer. Stay strong and you will continue to inspire all.
MrJunoBeach via YouTube

You are a very brave lady, fair play to you.
janeyrain
via YouTube

I'm in gratitude that Al Jazeera is willing to broach this topic especially considering I've encountered both online and IRL people who hold the bigoted opinion that Muslims hold backward views, which obviously couldn't be further from the truth. I personally lost an aunt to breast cancer and thus it is an issue I care about, and one in which I'll try to stay up to date on. Thank you Al Jazeera and I wish for all of you to continue such programming in the years to come.

Smaug84 via YouTube

Hang in there lady, you have love, family and a wonderful attitude. Take care of yourself.

magdafrida via YouTube

I accidentally came across your video. Thanks for your courage and openness. You will help others.
spotclinton via YouTube

Brutus, Lahore, Pakistan: I agree completely with you. The US has a long history of leaving areas it has operated in with lingering health problems. Also I did lose my own mother to breast cancer in 1990, and although hard to prove, I think it was caused by toxins in the air left by large corporations over the years. The US corporations have a long history of disregard for the environment where they operate, and think only of their bottom line profit. The boardrooms of these large corporations are known to be home to large numbers of heavy drug users, alcoholics, paedophiles and other sexual perverts. In other words, some of the most despicable characters on earth are running these mega multi-national corporations that are ruining the planet we all live on. mk, Old Forge, USA

You cannot simply blame cancer on the multinationals of America. The reality is that cancer is caused by so many factors, and breast cancer has a variety of known and unknown reasons for its cause. Plus in reality most people who live any kind of modern life involving modern appliances put themselves or others at risk. Or in turn those unfortunately near certain sources of pollution. In particular the fast growing industry without much regard for health and safety guidelines that is seen particularly in places like China and India will undoubtedly cause a lot of pollution, and I would not be suprised if you see an increase of cancer there. At the end of the day people should spend less fighting each other and spend more trying to preserve human life through sustainable means rather than on killing each other
JohnBoy27, Leicester, United Kingdom

azzi, mumbai, India: You claim that breat cancer doesn't exist in Muslim countries, and that the reason it exists in the West is due to Westerners' decadent lifestyle. Here are a few issues for you to consider: 1. Many Muslim countries are so backward that they are unable to diagnose breat cancer; 2. Muslims are jealous of the far superior level of technology and wealth in the West, and therefore try to rationalise their failure by reference to the imaginary drawbacks of Western civilisation; 3. If the West is so bad, why do so many Muslims migrate to Western countries, while no Westerners move in the opposite direction?
Andrew, London, United Kingdom

Some of these posts are disgusting. It is reasonable to blame polluters for some cancers but not most. Cancer has existed as long as there has been a human race, and to argue, as some people have, that cancer obeys national or religious boundaries, or that it is mostly caused by human malice or incompetence, is either monstrously ignorant or sickeningly nasty. I do notice that most of the posts on this and other discussions on Al Jazeera are by men, and that many of these men propose to speak on behalf of all women. That is idiotic when the issue is trivial such as the right to wear a veil or not, vicious and half mad when it is women's education, and purely evil when it is to do with as personal a topic as breast cancer. Learn from this. There is a big, complicated world outside your petty religious and political prejudices and they seem to blind you to even the simplest truths about it. Stop believing things, pay attention to the real world and start to learn.
Anarch, Leeds, United Kingdom

I think lifestyle and the food we eat are the major cause of breast cancer and many other diseases. I know when I was young, I did not hear about any type of cancer, but nowadays there are many diseases because of the above causes.
baz, Vancouver, Canada

This is a problem due to the exploitation of women by a few men in the name of 'Female Equality with Men'. Like in an atom we have electrons and protons, we have men and women. Each have their own functions with unique merits and demerits. Both can't be mixed and equalled. But both have to co-exist for human life to continue. Breast cancer is mainly due to some mothers not doing their duty to their new-borns, and other bad habits. This is one of the problems caused by more materialism. More females going to work outside and going away from their actual duties. For this situation, men have to be blamed equally.
ussudoor, Riyadh, India

Baz, I think you are wrong. The reason we hear so much more about these diseases today is the advancement in medicine and communications, not what we eat. As a people, we have learned more about cancer in the past 10 years than in the previous 100 years. It's a horrible disease that eats people from the inside out. Watching someone die from this will change you forever, and not in a good way.
james, Nashville, USA

To ussudoor, Riyadh, India. Almost sadder than the affliction of cancer (and I've survived a malignant melanoma) is the affliction of ignorance as portrayed in your comment.
Seamoth, Cape Town, South Africa

I believe Baz might be right. There was American research some weeks ago showing that 'Older Chinese women who eat a Western-style diet loaded with meats and sweets appear to have a greater risk for breast cancer than women who eat mainly soya and vegetables'. Because there are lots of people in China now with Western habits, China affords great opportunities for comparing traditional diets with modern diets. There is also (Japanese) research comparing the effects of drinking Chinese green tea with modern soft drinks. This research showed that green tea seems to slow down all sorts of cancers. I know Muslims also drink a lot of green tea, but Western people do not, and neither do the English. I hope this information is useful.
Manchu, Beijing, China

Personally, my sister-in-law had breast cancer 5 years ago. I am a strong believer in breast cancer screening, like receiving a mammogram study. My sister-in-law had one at an earlier age (35-years-old) and was diagnosed with an early stage of the cancer. Had she recieved the mammogram study at age 40, which is the routine age for screening in the US, she would have had a progressive stage of the cancer. The motto of the story ladies is to have monthly self-breast exam check, routine doctor's examination and annual breast screening study starting at age 35, earlier if there is a family history of breast or ovarian cancers.
mishmish, Egypt

To ussudoor: Please consider the facts: Cancer is a disease - not caused from morality, but biology. It has always been with us. It occurs when cells continue to divide beyond their need. Our race will find the answer as we have done with so many other diseases. Have hope in the future for our race, that through knowledge we will control these things and become a race that Earth can be proud to claim. Peace and prosperity to all my sisters and brothers of earth.
Fred F. Jones, Pueblo, USA

I know there are cases cured by alternative medicine; has anyone here heard of such cures?
rainmaker, India

In December of 2001 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following the diagnosis I had an initial lumpdectomy in January of 2002. The biopsy showed a hormone-reactive cancer. This operation was followed by two others by the end of February 2002, one of which removed two free-floating cancer cells in the lymph node on the same side as the operation. The operations were followed by 5-day, 2x per day radiation treatment. Thus far I have been completely cancer-free. I attribute my successful recover to first and foremost my surgeon, Dr. Christopher Mills, of St. Vincent's Hospital in NYC. He is not only a brilliant diagnostician and surgeon, but an incredible human being who puts the patients and family before any other consideration. He is also an optimistic person. In addition, I have always maintained a healthy diet and take supplements including Omega 3 fish oils, ground flaxseeds, etc., for strengthening my immune system. Be strong. Be optimistic.
DC1, New York City, USA

To ussudoor, Riyadh, India: Men get breast cancer too, how would you explain its cause?
mishmish, Egypt

The problem with American medicine is that most of it treats the symptoms, not the disease. A good friend of mine had lung cancer which had reached a very advanced stage. She was somewhat elderly, so Chemotherapy really wasn't a practical option; all that we could do was give her morphine for the next several months so that she wouldn't feel any pain. Whenever I saw her after the diagnosis, she was either in pain or so drugged out that she could barely even speak to me. After so much has been put into finding a treatment, all that we have to show is Chemotherapy & Morphine?
kyle, fremont, USA

A very apt observation, one about which I have a nagging suspicion that most observant people in the West, including yourself, realise very well but do not have the will to own up to, primarily because it amounts to admitting to the unbridled and completely skewed lifestyles indulged in, by mainstream westerners, in favour of consumerism, hedonism and the associated freedoms available in the west, to abuse the physical selves. The lower incidence of the dreaded disease in other parts of the world is primarily due to lifestyle differences, except in those regions and countries where the indiscriminate and illegal use of banned chemicals in munitions or depleted uranium has been employed by the US, as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam; and by the Zionist occupiers of Palestine on the hapless and unfortunate civilian populations, in those countries. These are well known facts documented by international bodies and NGOs. But no justice so far for the affected.
azzi, mumbai, India

Why is it that none of the posters here deem it appropriate to give a thought to the people of the countries under occupation, by the US-Zionist nexus in the ME, who have been exposed to radiation, through military ordinance containing depleted uranium, a substance which is known to cause cancer, by the aggressors. The incidence of cancer in these countries has spiked post large scale bombardments which has flattened not just physical infrastructure, but also any hope for the healthy births and subsequent development of innocent future generations. Where is the outrage against this carnage which goes on killing slowly, silently and painfully?
azzi, mumbai, India

Why should Everywoman show only one woman suffering from cancer? I think that today almost everyone knows what cancer is. But the causes are many! Everywoman should have shown video diaries on woman suffering from cancer in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq etc. Sir! you wont believe it but I am from a small village in the north western province of Pakistan. There were no cancer patients before the US invasion of Afghanistan. But now only in my own family I have lost 2 of my aunts and a cousin from cancer. While reading Robert Fisk's book The Great War for Civilization I have come to know how many children and elders suffered from cancer due to uranium depleted shells. This is just ridiculous on the part of a country who is out there to teach us civilization, liberalism and democracy.
Brutus, Lahore, Pakistan

About recent Cancer cases in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq: all of these countries have one thing in common that cannot be seen as just a pure coincidence. All of them have received enough 'gifts' and in all forms from the US. By the way, South Lebanon is also concerned.
al_morro, Mexico, Mexico

Brutus, Lahore, Pakistan: I agree completely with you. The US has a long history of leaving areas it has operated in with lingering health problems. Also I did lose my own mother to breast cancer in 1990, and although hard to prove, I think it was caused by toxins in the air left by large corporations over the years. The US corporations have a long history of disregard for the environment where they operate, and think only of their bottom line profit. The boardrooms of these large corporations are known to be home to large numbers of heavy drug users, alcoholics, paedophiles and other sexual perverts. In other words, some of the most despicable characters on earth are running these mega multi-national corporations that are ruining the planet we all live on. mk, Old Forge, USA

You cannot simply blame cancer on the multinationals of America. The reality is that cancer is caused by so many factors, and breast cancer has a variety of known and unknown reasons for its cause. Plus in reality most people who live any kind of modern life involving modern appliances put themselves or others at risk. Or in turn those unfortunately near certain sources of pollution. In particular the fast growing industry without much regard for health and safety guidelines that is seen particularly in places like China and India will undoubtedly cause a lot of pollution, and I would not be suprised if you see an increase of cancer there. At the end of the day people should spend less fighting each other and spend more trying to preserve human life through sustainable means rather than on killing each other.
JohnBoy27, Leicester, United Kingdom

azzi, mumbai, India: You claim that breat cancer doesn't exist in Muslim countries, and that the reason it exists in the West is due to Westerners' decadent lifestyle. Here are a few issues for you to consider: 1. Many Muslim countries are so backward that they are unable to diagnose breat cancer; 2. Muslims are jealous of the far superior level of technology and wealth in the West, and therefore try to rationalise their failure by reference to the imaginary drawbacks of Western civilisation; 3. If the West is so bad, why do so many Muslims migrate to Western countries, while no Westerners move in the opposite direction?
Andrew, London, United Kingdom

Some of these posts are disgusting. It is reasonable to blame polluters for some cancers but not most. Cancer has existed as long as there has been a human race, and to argue, as some people have, that cancer obeys national or religious boundaries, or that it is mostly caused by human malice or incompetence, is either monstrously ignorant or sickeningly nasty. I do notice that most of the posts on this and other discussions on Al Jazeera are by men, and that many of these men propose to speak on behalf of all women. That is idiotic when the issue is trivial such as the right to wear a veil or not, vicious and half mad when it is women's education, and purely evil when it is to do with as personal a topic as breast cancer. Learn from this. There is a big, complicated world outside your petty religious and political prejudices and they seem to blind you to even the simplest truths about it. Stop believing things, pay attention to the real world and start to learn.
Anarch, Leeds, United Kingdom

al_morro, Mexico, Mexico: I knew I'd find you in here blaming the US for breast cancer too. I'm sure you blame the drinking water situation in Mexico on the USA also. How about the plague in India, Aids in Africa, I'm sure the USA or the CIA did that also?
Ron, Hazlet, USA

My sister had breast cancer some years back. I learned that what sufferers need is EARS and less MOUTH from family. Stop saying 'I heard of this woman and she...' and 'This doctor is amazing.. I heard he...' She KNOWS all she needs to know. All she needs is your shoulder and your ear. That's the best advice I can give.
Gill, Johannesburg, South Africa

To rainmaker and DC1: DC1, you had a good doctor, but you also helped yourself with a good diet to improve your immune system. The philosophy of all alternative medicine is just that: Improve your resistance, strengthen the healthy cells in their fight against the corrupted cells. So jogging is fine, watching your diet is fine, herbal medicine is fine too, and be optimistic, because mental peace is important too. Much of medical treatment is just the opposite: Kill the diseased cells, but quite often one also kills the healthy cells in the process, and it causes much mental stress. It is much like fighting terrorism: It is often better to support the moderates (the healthy cells) than concentrate too much on the extremists.
Manchu, Beijing, China

One secular member of my Turkish family is a breast cancer survivor. My friend's deeply religious mother died of breast cancer. I'm horrified to read some of the comments made here. Breast cancer is not the result of personal sin. A woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer is in pain, psychologically more than physically. Making her feel guilty for her condition is vicious. Also: before modern medicine, people were most likely to die in infancy, or of infectious diseases. Nowadays, heart disease and cancer are the two main killers of people who have access to effective medicine. Human beings have to die of something, you know. Blame original sin, but don't blame the individual who has just been diagnosed with cancer!
jaleh, wisconsin, USA

To those whom it may concern: Please do not use this forum to propagate your political/religious ideals, this is not the place for them.
kyle, fremont, USA

Andrew, London, United Kingdom: Your pathetically stoic, albeit amusing, state of denial, (in the face of all kinds of scorching testimony and evidence) and delusion, prevents you from realising that: 1) Some of the best doctors in your part of the world are Muslims. 2) If the Muslims were jealous of your lifestyle, they would have gladly accepted your social mores (lack of them) long ago. That - despite the West's political hegemony over much of the non white world, in the last few centuries, it has been unable to extract any admiration for its civilisation is again testimony to your flopped propaganda about the jealousy crap. Jealous of your mess? Anyways, thanks for your hilarious post.
azzi, mumbai, India

I fully agree with some viewers saying that no one, even specialised doctors, can give a clear and universally valid explanation as to why some people are more prone to get cancer although never having such a vice like smoking or drinking than those perhaps having done this all their life. For those concerned this diagnosis might be similar to an impending death penalty, but beside that just for women standing in the focus here the additional psychological burden could be more severe than the disease itself because many cannot cope with the idea of amputation of one or even both breasts as the only alternative to survive at all because such an operation will always be clearly visible. They would not consider themselves a real woman any more because their breasts have always been THE symbol of womanhood and desire in the eyes of men, which then probably leave their wives for not being attractive to them any longer despite plastic surgery. May God protect us from this fate!
Ingeborg, Dsseldorf, Germany

I now think that the previous comment that people should write about the issue in question, should be taken into account. And that it would be nice to see some people actually talking about cancer, and their personal experiences rather than their own personal prejudices
JohnBoy27, Leicester, United Kingdom