On Thursday morning, Senator Amy Klobuchar released a statement on Medium announcing that she was diagnosed with “Stage 1A” breast cancer in February of this year. She said after a series of tests, she had a lumpectomy in May followed by radiation treatment, which all went well.
Klobuchar followed up her announcement with a round of thanks to her family and the doctors that treated her:
I want to thank the incredible doctors and nurses I had the privilege to work with, my friends and loving family — including my husband John and daughter Abigail — for their support during the surgery and radiation, which also coincided with my dad’s illness and death. Their support allowed me to continue my work with my colleagues on major pandemic and economic legislation, as well as chairing the joint Senate January 6th investigation and the For the People hearings while undergoing cancer treatment.
Klobuchar used this moment to encourage Americans to refocus their attention on regular health screenings and preventative cancer screenings, citing how fortunate she was that her cancer was caught early enough to be treated. “I also want to call attention to the fact that many people have been delaying physicals and routine examinations because of the pandemic,” the senator wrote.
“[Americans] are constantly balancing their families, their jobs, and their health,” she wrote. “It’s easy to put off health screenings, just like I did.”
While there is much to balance for the average American, what was left out from Klobuchar’s musings was the fact that it is nearly impossible for many people in the United States to access the kind of care it would take to discover and treat something as serious as cancer, particularly during a pandemic, when hospitals are overrun and millions of Americans lack health insurance coverage. Nevertheless, she is absolutely right about the importance of preventative care in saving lives.