What will it take to finally believe women about our pain?

WFN’s COO, Megan Murphy Wolf has penned a guest essay for Good Housekeeping detailing her challenges finding a doctor that would take her seriously when she found a lump in her breast—despite the high likelihood that she would be a third-generation breast cancer patient. Megan’s story is part of a continuing epidemic of doctors not believing women about our own bodies, and the impact historical misogyny has on both our health and economic outlook.

Once finally diagnosed (with stage three breast cancer), Megan counted herself lucky to have good insurance to cover her care, but she wasn’t eligible for short-term disability or family or medical leave at her new job, and had to keep showing up for work throughout chemo and radiation treatment. 

Women often have even fewer options and have to make impossible choices, risking financial ruin in the face of a diagnosis. A recent report showed that a staggering 43 percent of low-income women diagnosed with breast cancer will lose their jobs after treatment.

Together we can help to change these injustices by advocating for women’s health and for a more robust system of support for those who have been diagnosed.