An early morning post on social media from Amy Klobuchar has brought some surprising news. "I wanted to share an update on my health," the Democratic senator from Minnesota tweeted Thursday, linking to a Medium essay that revealed she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, reports USA Today. Klobuchar notes she was first alerted to issues in February, when her regular mammogram at the Mayo Clinic picked up calcifications. A biopsy followed, then a diagnosis of stage 1A breast cancer.
Klobuchar writes that the cancer was removed from her right breast via a lumpectomy, and that she then underwent chemo treatments that wrapped up in May. "After additional follow-up visits, it was determined in August that the treatment went well," she notes, adding some more good news: "Of course this has been scary at times, since cancer is the word all of us fear, but at this point my doctors believe that my chances of developing cancer again are no greater than the average person."
Her personal struggle aside, Klobuchar notes her message has a second purpose: to remind people that, even during a pandemic, when time is tight and logistics can be hectic, it's important to make sure regular health regimens are kept up. "Many people have been delaying physicals and routine examinations because of the pandemic," she writes. "I know that because I delayed mine."
She notes that more than a third of adults have reported postponing health care, or putting it off altogether, due to COVID worries, and that "thousands of people who missed their mammogram due to the pandemic may be living with undetected breast cancer." In short, the senator wants her message to offer a little nudge. "I hope my experience is a reminder for everyone of the value of routine health checkups, exams, and follow-through." (Read more Amy Klobuchar stories.)