Whenever you see a medical drama or police procedural on TV, you have to question the accuracy of the stories they portray. Sure, the writers likely did a lot of fact-checking, but the media is also known for making things more dramatic and exciting or suspenseful than they really are. Whether the facts are true to life or not, they had at least one useful real-life application: they saved someone’s life.
Fox News reported that an Israeli woman who received a cancer diagnosis cites the popular TV drama Grey’s Anatomy with convincing her to return to the doctor’s office, and could have made the difference between receiving the proper diagnosis and her cancer being passed off as a fluke. The site went on to say that 34-year-old Sarit Fishbaine of Israel watched the show 6 months after her first breast exam.
The episode of Grey’s Anatomy (which involves a mother who goes for a mastectomy after the doctors mistake her cancer for a build-up of milk in her breasts) apparently convinced Miss Fishbaine to seek a second opinion of her diagnosis (or lack thereof) from a specialist after the same thing happened to her. Upon her second visit, Sarit was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer, Fox says.
As anyone who’s ever been tested for cancer or any other disease knows, spotting it early on before it becomes a problem can sometimes be life-saving, which is why the American Cancer Society recommends that women age 40 or older have a mammogram every year. Miss Fishbaine’s case was a very lucky one, especially considering that she was in Stage 3 when her cancer was discovered. The ACS’ site reported that over 200,000 American women are given that same diagnosis of breast cancer every year. Fishbaine isn’t downplaying the event as anything short of a miracle — she spoke to NBC News about her experiences during treatment.
“I started six months of chemo right away and after that I had surgery, I had a mastectomy and then I had radiation therapy so I got the full package…”
Miss Fishbaine also said she “loves watching TV” and that seeing the show was a sign from God for her, according to NBC News(take that, people who cite statistics saying watching too much TV is bad for you!). As our knowledge in the fields of health and medicine continue to advance, hopefully we will see a much smaller number of victims suffering from breast and other kinds of cancer.
So far, the chances look good: the Inquisitr reported that a new blood test, more accurate than a mammogram, has been developed to help doctors deliver a breast cancer diagnosis. While it may not sound like a good thing to have more people with diagnosed as having breast cancer, it is definitely better than waving cancer away as something trivial, since lack of treatment can often make things worse. Also, since treating cancer generally takes a good deal of time, the earlier the diagnosis can be made, the better.
NBC News reported that Sarit is on the road to recovery, something that may never have happened if she hadn’t been watching that one very well-written episode of Grey’s Anatomy. So, take a page out of Fishbaine’s book and the next time you’re thinking of skipping the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, you may want to think twice — it could save your life.
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