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During Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Susan G. Komen is encouraging Asian American women to prioritize their breast health and get regular screenings. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Asian American and Pacific Islander women. Although Asian American women in the U.S. have similar screening mammography rates as Black, white and Hispanic women, they have more delays in follow-up care after an abnormal mammogram than white women. Today’s guest, like many people, never imagined that receiving a breast cancer diagnosis was something that could happen to her. Eating healthy and being aware of risk factors and overall health has always been a part of her lifestyle and she and even serves as the General Counsel of Susan G. Komen, with no breast cancer in her family history. Yet, in April 2021, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Here today to share her story and the importance of regular screenings and mammograms is Eunice Nakamura. Eunice, welcome to the show!
Patient navigators empower and guide patients to overcome barriers during cancer treatment, helping to ensure a seamless, high-quality breast cancer journey. They help allow the patient to focus on treatment and recovery, by helping to take care of a whole host of other things such as research for supportive and funding services available. Today’s guest had a personal experience with stage III ovarian cancer at the age of 16, which inspired her to pursue a career as a patient navigator. She wanted to help people like her find their way through a fragmented health care system and provide the guidance that she never received during her own experience with cancer. Here today to share more about her role as a patient navigator as part of Susan G. Komen’s patient navigation program in support of Stand for H.E.R – a Healthy Equity Revolution, and the ways that it can help support patients is Jade Gibson. Jade, welcome to the show!
Tune into a special Mother's Day episode of Real Pink to hear multi-platinum singer/song writer Andy Grammer share the impact that losing his mom to breast cancer had on his life and how he honors her by inspiring the world through his music.
After treatment for breast cancer ends, staying involved in the breast cancer cause will make a difference in your own life and can also benefit many other people diagnosed with breast cancer and their families, now and in the future. Today, as we gear up for Mother’s Day, we are joined by a mother/daughter duo - Mary Ellen & Emily Davis. Mary Ellen was diagnosed in 2010 with Stage III Triple Negative Breast Cancer when she was 44 years old. Her daughter, Emily, was a teenager when her mom was diagnosed and has dedicated her career to the oncology world. Together, they have been a Komen 3-Day top fundraising team and are now participating in Komen More than Pink Walks. Here today to share their story are Mary Ellen and Emily – welcome to the show!
Susan G. Komen will host their annual 2022 Advocacy Summit at the end of this month, culminating in a day of action on Wednesday, April 27. The Advocacy Summit is Komen’s only national advocacy event that provides advocates from across the country the opportunity to come together as one voice for those impacted by breast cancer. Advocates will hold hundreds of meetings with their Congressional offices virtually and call on them to support our priority policies. Joining us today is John Scoblick, a Komen Leadership Council member and advocate whose daughter died of metastatic breast cancer at the age of 36. Before she died, Melissa was a staunch advocate for breast cancer patients, survivors and anyone at risk of receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. John has continued on her legacy through his work with Komen and is using his voice to advocate for policies that will help us save lives and put an end to breast cancer. John, welcome to the show!
Anyone who’s ever had breast cancer knows what it feels like to hear the words “You have cancer.” You may feel angry, afraid, overwhelmed or unsure about the future. These feelings are normal and allowing yourself to express your emotions can help you begin to cope, which is a process that requires time, acceptance and support. Today’s guest is someone who is accustomed to feeling fully in control of her life – in her late 30’s, she was independent, working in a fast paced career in healthcare media relations and was extremely active and fit. Yet she became one of the 1 in 8 women to hear those words “You have cancer” and suddenly things started to feel out of her control. Deb Song is the Senior Director of National Public Relations and Communications at Susan G. Komen and is here today to share her story and to tell us how her experience with breast cancer redefined what strength meant to her and how she’s learned to embrace life as a team effort. Deb, welcome to the show!
The signs and symptoms of breast cancer are not the same for everyone. It is important to know your normal and to see your doctor if you notice any changes in your body. Today’s guest has undergone treatment for two different types of breast cancer, being diagnosed the first time in 2007 and again in 2018. Each time she was the one to find a lump and each time she wondered if she was just being paranoid. She is passionate about sharing her story to encourage others to go for their screenings and to listen to that inner voice that might be telling you that something is just not quite right. Here today to share her story is Elizabeth Braun.
Whether you’re healthy, have just been diagnosed with breast cancer or are living with metastatic breast cancer, the connection between breast and bone health is vital. Some breast cancer treatments can affect bone health, putting women at higher risk for bone density loss. The bones are often the first site of metastases for almost half of women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, which can lead to bone complications including bone fractures and spinal cord compressions. Bone strengthening therapies may be added to treatment plans for these women to protect bones and reduce risk. Today’s guest is passionate about educating women on how to take control of their health by learning what to look for, what questions to ask and what they can do to lower their risks of recurrence. Here today to share her breast cancer experience and how she protects her bones while living with bone metastases is Kim Crist. Kim, welcome to the show!
Inflammatory Breast Cancer is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer that can often be mistaken for an infection or rash. Today’s guest went to the doctors thinking that she was simply having an allergic reaction. Luckily, her medical team was well versed in IBC and knew that what they were looking at was far more serious than a rash. Here today to share her story of living with Metastatic Inflammatory Breast Cancer and how she is fighting cancer every single day in order to live out her hopes, dreams and plans is Beth Porreca. Beth, welcome to the show!
Just as everyone’s individual breast cancer diagnosis is different, everyone’s life circumstances when they are diagnosed is also different. The emotional support of family, friends and others can be important to help you as you go through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. You might also have to lean on others to help with childcare or to help with daily chores. Costs related to breast cancer can also quickly become a financial burden. Even if you have insurance and your co-payment for a single bill is low, these costs can add up if you get may bills from just one procedure from multiple departments included in your treatments. It’s OK to ask for help and there are many resources available for people with breast cancer. Today’s guest is Shareka Allen. Shareka is a young, independent mother who advocated for herself when she knew that something just wasn’t quite right and had to learn to ask for help along the way. She’s here today to tell her story. Shareka, welcome to the show!
About 1-5 percent of breast cancers in the U.S are Inflammatory Breast Cancer. This is an aggressive form of breast cancer, with signs that tend to arise quickly, often within weeks or months. The main symptoms of IBC are swelling and redness in the breast, and IBC can be hard to see on a mammogram because it may only show up as a sign of inflammation. Because of this and the frequent lack of a breast lump, IBC may first be mistaken for an infection or mastitis. Today’s guest today is Amy Capello. Amy was diagnosed with Stage 3 IBC at the age of 38 and is here to help educate us on this rare disease in hopes that it can help other women to recognize it more quickly, and to share her refreshing perspective on life since her diagnosis. Amy, welcome to the show!
Fast-growing breast cancers can seem to come out of nowhere. That’s what it was like for today’s guest, Selena Smith-Albino [pronounced al-BEAN-oh], when she felt a lump in her left breast six months after getting a clean bill of health following a mammogram. The diagnosis of stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma led to her decision to undergo genetic testing. Her test results would have repercussions for her entire family. Selena joins us today to share what she’s learned through her experiences that can help other women. Selena, thank you for being our guest!
After completing breast cancer treatment, many women want to leave the experience far behind them and not think about it again. That’s perfectly understandable. Others find that the experience changes their thinking about what they want to do with their life. Our guest today is one of those people. After two cancer diagnoses, she decided to devote her career to helping women navigate the challenges of breast cancer. She is a Community Programs Manager for Stand for H.E.R.—a Health Equity Revolution, a focused initiative to decrease breast cancer disparities in the Black community by 25 percent, beginning in the U.S. metropolitan areas where inequities are greatest. Joining us to walk us through her journey and talk about her work with Stand for H.E.R. is Kamesha Miles. Kamesha, welcome!
A range of factors can contribute to the development of breast cancer, a fact that Dr. Lauren McCullough, an Atlanta-based breast cancer epidemiologist, knows all too well. She studies a wide-range of contributing factors – from race and ethnicity, to genetics and other biomarkers. Black women are still diagnosed at later stages, with more aggressive tumors and are less likely to survive. But advances in research are leading to improvements in breast cancer care for Black women, and for all women. Here to tell us about her research and the advances we might see in the future is Dr. Lauren McCullough. Thank you for joining us; we’re so pleased to have you with us today!
Women don’t necessarily have to accept the first breast cancer diagnosis we receive; we can seek a second medical opinion. That’s what our next guest, Se’Nita Harris, did. And it proved to be a smart move. It turns out that her diagnosis of metaplastic breast cancer was inaccurate. She actually had triple negative breast cancer, which called for a different treatment. Se’Nita is here today to talk about the importance of women advocating for themselves. Thank you for joining us!
As with any major illness, breast cancer can have effects beyond the person that is diagnosed. When it happens family members and loved ones may feel many of the same emotions as the person with the diagnosis although they can never completely understand what it is like unless they have been there, and even then each diagnosis is almost like a snowflake – no two are exactly alike. Since the overall median age at diagnosis for women in the U.S. is 63, it is often a child dealing with the illness of their parent and not the other way around. Today we are lucky to be joined by a mother-daughter duo who are here to share their story of support from a perspective that we haven’t explored much on this show. In 2019, Adrienne Legault was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 27 and her mom Debbie stepped into the role of caregiver. Here to share how they have navigated the myriad of emotions that the past few years has brought to their family are Debbie and Adrienne. Welcome to the show!
Screening tests are used to find breast cancer before it causes any warning signs or symptoms, when chances for survival are highest. It is important to stay on top of your breast health by knowing your risk, getting screened, knowing what is normal for you and making healthy lifestyle choices. Today’s guest has a history of breast cancer on her mom’s side and unfortunately lost her sister to the disease in 2013. Because of her family history, she started getting yearly mammograms early and when it was determined that she had cysts, that schedule changed to every 6 months. Because of this commitment to screening, her own breast cancer was caught early. Here today to share her story with us and how her family has helped her through is Terri James. Terri, welcome to the show!
Every cell in your body has genes that contain the blueprints, or genetic code, for your body. Cancer develops when changes – or mutations -- in some of these genes cause the cells to grow uncontrollably and take on new characteristics. Tumor profiling, also called molecular profiling or genomic testing, gives information about the specific changes in the genes of cancer cells. Today we are joined by Dr. Christy Russell, Vice President of US Medical Affairs at Exact Sciences, who will talk with us about tumor profiling in breast cancer. Welcome to the show, Christy!
Thoughtful gestures - big and small - mean so much to survivors, whether they’ve just been diagnosed or completed treatment many years ago. Today’s guest, Janice Workcuff, has devoted her life and career to advocating for needs of her fellow sisters through making phone calls, joining them at their appointments and spreading the word for improved healthcare and more clinical trials. It is her mission to raise awareness for breast cancer through speaking engagement, educational resources, counseling and hospice guidance. She stands on the premise that helping others is her purpose, her assignment, her calling – and she is a true leader that is making a difference. Janice, welcome to the show.
Often times, creating a sense of purpose from a difficult and challenging time is the drive that someone needs to keep pushing through. Cookie Joe founded Cookie Joe’s Dancin’ School 45 years ago and works daily to inspire her dancers, their families and the community that she has built. Despite battling stage 2 breast cancer, Cookie Joe has called on her community for support and they have rallied around her. She knows that 1 in 8 of her dancers are going to experience breast cancer and understands how important it is for the kids to see her persevere in the face of difficult odds. Here to share her story and how she using her role to create purpose through community is Cookie Joe. Welcome to the show!
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