Breast cancer survivor advocates for awareness

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Statistics say about one in eight women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

“In 2008, I was at home and I detected it myself,” said Alissa Turner, cancer survivor. “I didn’t think much of it until I got online and spoke to a 24-hour nurse who instructed me to get set up with a primary doctor and get it checked. From there, it happened fast.”

Turner said she found a bump in one of her breasts by accident.

“It was very overwhelming,” said Turner. “I was 36, no one in my family had cancer, no one I knew had cancer.”

She says her quick reaction saved her life.

“It was good that I reacted to it quickly because I was able to do something about it because I did have an aggressive cancer.”

From that experience, she has an important reminder for all women:

“Self-breast examinations are very important.” 

She says she recommends this for all women, not just those over 40.

“There is an impression that if you’re young, you will not get breast cancer, that is wrong,” said Dr. Ravi Patel, medical director at Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center. “We see on a regular basis, young people with breast cancer.”

During the month of October, CBCC doctors will be hosting an interactive discussion every Thursday.

“We’re having people talk about how you can detect it early and what are nutritional changes or lifestyle changes you can make that can reduce the chances of your cancer coming back,” said Patel.

Information not just to save lives, but also to change them. 

“Cancer can’t stop you from living,” said Patel. “It is important to remember that even if you have the diagnosis of cancer, you can still celebrate life.”

Along with Dignity Health, CBCC will celebrate patients, survivors and their families at a celebration of life this Sunday.

The celebration of life at CBCC is from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. The discussions are every Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.. in the CBCC’s lobby. 

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