A Young Breast Cancer Survivor Speaks Out

By: Krystle Hensley
General

A Young Breast Cancer Survivor Speaks Out

In July, 2016, at the ripe old age of 27, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I first noticed a lump in my breast in early June while I was performing a breast self-examination. Initially, I thought it may have been hormonal changes due to my menstrual cycle, but when the lump did not shrink/go away by the beginning of July, I had it examined. At first, my gynecologist thought the lump was a cyst, but he sent me to get a mammogram anyway because of my family history. Within five days of my first visit, and after a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer.

Feeling Fun and Feminine Even Through Chemo

By: Amelia Robert
General

Feeling Fun and Feminine, Even Through Chemo

Chemotherapy can save years of life, but for some breast cancer survivors, the prospect of losing hair during the treatment can lead to mixed emotions. Hair is a big part of what makes many women feel beautiful, an important part of our feminine identity, so it’s only natural to feel sad when it’s gone. Even so, survivors who feel that they should do everything they can to stay healthy for their families and loved ones may feel guilty for mourning the loss of their hair. Breast cancer survivor Allison Prendergast faced this conundrum as she began her treatment.

Holiday Season

By: Helen McMillan
General

Holiday Season

As this year draws to a close, we here at SurviveDAT have been looking back and thinking of all the young women whose paths have crossed with ours. As they have shared their stories with us, you can see in their words and hear in their voices their determination to beat this thing invading their bodies. We are thankful to be able to be a part of their journey, and hopefully making it easier to bear.

Men Caretakers and the People Young Breast Cancer Survivors Love

By: Laura Ricks
General

Men, Caretakers, and the People Young Breast Cancer Survivors Love

This month, we here at the Gulf States Young Breast Cancer Survivor Network want to acknowledge the people who love, support and take care of the women we are trying to help. Breast cancer doesn’t just take its toll on the young woman, it also can exact a heavy price on those around her. As Marc Heyison, founder of “Men Against Breast Cancer” says “Breast cancer devastates the entire family.” So here are some tips and resources for men, family members and caretakers helping young women fight breast cancer.

Getting By With A Little Help From Your Friends

By: Laura Ricks
General

Getting By With A Little Help From Your Friends

When Hoda found a lump in her breast in 2006 and went in for a biopsy, it was Karen who was by her side. Hoda was going through a rough divorce at the time and had no family nearby, so Karen wanted to be sure Hoda would not go through that process alone.

Mommy Me and Cancer A Reflection from the Child of a Breast Cancer Survivor

By: Michelle Lawrence, MPH
General

Mommy, Me, and Cancer: A Reflection from the Child of a Breast Cancer Survivor

"Hi sweetie, I have something very important to tell you." Although I was only 8 years old, I could tell that my mother’s kind tone was only a gentle precursor for what she was about to say. She gazed at me with a sincere face and tears in her eyes as she explained to me that she had been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She said that our lives would be quite different for a while. My mother, at the time, was 38 years old.

Issues Related to Young Breast Cancer Survivors and Smoking

By: Elizabeth T.H. Fontham
General

Issues Related to Young Breast Cancer Survivors and Smoking

It will not come as a surprise to anyone reading this that smoking is bad for health – in big important ways and in some less life-threatening, but undesirable ways. As someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, I sincerely hope that if you are a nonsmoker your commitment to not smoke will be reinforced by what you read here and if you are a smoker that you will seize the opportunity to prevent adverse health effects by battling and beating cigarette addiction.

Louisiana's Young Breast Cancer Survivor Network

Young women with breast cancer face unique issues. And in the South, there are more young women overall facing breast cancer. In Louisiana, young African-American women are significantly more likely to suffer from breast cancer.

That is why SurviveDAT is here. Part of the Gulf States Young Breast Cancer Survivor Network, SurviveDAT's mission is to help improve the quality of life for young breast cancer survivors, as well as their family and friends, by providing continuing resources and support.

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