Comedian Tig Notaro on her double-mastectomy

Tig Notaro: Double Mastectomy
Comedian, Tig Notaro, suffered from breast cancer and had a double mastectomy to help combat the disease.

Immediately after her surgery, doctors and surgeons were guiding her along to the next steps for reconstructive surgery for new breasts. The inherent societal pressure on women's appearance made it seem like a necessity for new breasts after her life-saving double mastectomy. However, Notaro opted out of the reconstructive surgery.

Instead, Notaro focused on overcoming the disease, being alive, and channeling that energy and gratefulness into her hobbies and her work.

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Comedian Tig Notaro on her double-mastectomy

Stop worrying about the things you cannot change. Based on the current evidence, what can you do to prevent breast cancer?

Survival has improved enormously, so there are more women living with, not dying from, breast cancer. Of course, we know more women with breast cancer, or more encouragingly, who have survived breast cancer.

Life expectancy has increased, and risk for breast cancer increases with age ... older women = more breast cancer.

Women are having fewer children, often at older ages, and pregnancy does offer some protective benefit against breast cancer. However, prevention is not a great reason to have a baby, so there's nothing you can change here.

Breast cancer detection is better, resulting in increased numbers of diagnoses. These early diagnoses are saving lives.

We are no longer ashamed to use the word "breast," or "cancer" for that matter. Your parents' generation wasn't wearing pink ribbons and exposing bald heads to raise awareness. It was there, it was just something we didn't talk about at parties.

A big part of the reason you feel like there is more breast cancer, is because we are talking about it. Thank God for this conversation -- it is saving lives.

Maintain a healthy weight.


Enjoy a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.

Drink alcohol in moderation.

See your doctor and stay current on your recommended screening exams.

There is ongoing research about how working night shifts may increase risk, but before you quit your night job, I suggest giving the evidence time to sort itself out.


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