Breast cancer survivor joins movement to save lives
(NC) Brenda North believes a conversation saved her life. In April 2012, her daughter Miranda and partner Dave asked the 52-year-old to go and get a mammogram done.
“Dave's mother had passed away from breast cancer. He and my daughter really pushed me to go,” says Brenda.
When the Hamilton resident finally agreed and went for a mammogram and ultrasound that June, doctors found a lump the size of an avocado pit in her breast. The diagnosis was Stage 3 breast cancer, and the mother of two faced a battery of rigorous treatments, something she admits she could have avoided with earlier detection.
In 2013, an estimated 9,300 Ontario women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and some 1,950 will die of the disease. Even though mammograms save lives, close to 40% of Ontario women are not getting screened regularly. That's why this October, Brenda is joining the Women to Women movement to spread the word about the importance of regular breast cancer screening. And to do this, she will be telling her own cautionary tale.
“Other women don't have to go through what I went through,” says Brenda, who endured a lumpectomy, 8 sessions of chemotherapy and 6 weeks of radiation before making a full recovery.
The Canadian Cancer Society, which is initiating the Women to Women movement during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, recommends that women aged 50 to 69 get a mammogram every two years.
Brenda and other ambassadors of the movement will have three-minuteconversations with 10 women in their lives using an ingenious teaching tool called the Thingamaboob to illustrate the difference that early detection can make.
“With mammograms, they can find a lump so tiny – the size of an apple seed – it's unbelievable,” says Brenda. “It's much easier to treat.”
The Canadian Cancer Society's Women to Women movement is empowering you to spread the word that regular mammograms save lives. Join the movement by registering at cancer.ca/womentowomen. Once you are a registered Women to Women ambassador, you will receive: 11 Thingamaboob key chains – one to keep and 10 to give to other women when having conversations about the importance of mammograms; tools to share the message online through e-mail and social media; and a personal fundraising page to raise funds for essential breast cancer research.
Join Brenda and hundreds of Ontario women in the Women to Women movement now! Visit cancer.ca/womentowomen.
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