Shortly after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my baby lost two pounds. The breast had to go; I had to quickly wean a baby who was interested in eating nothing but breast milk. This weight loss was nearly as traumatic for me as the cancer diagnosis.
Then, I connected with the Young Survival Coalition (YSC) and met a group of women who understood exactly what I was going through. These women knew from experience how difficult it can be to balance treatment with parenting.
The Young Survival Coalition is an organization that supports pre-menopausal women who have breast cancer. Why a group that focuses just on the younger women with breast cancer?
- Breast cancer in younger women tends to be more aggressive with a lower survival rate, and studies increasingly suggest that breast cancer in younger women is biologically different from the breast cancer that older women get.
- Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women between the ages of 15 and 54.
- Because fewer young women get breast cancer, they are not adequately represented in breast cancer research.
- We have not yet developed an effective breast cancer screening tool for young women.
- Young women deal with different issues than post-menopausal women: effects of treatment on fertility, child rearing, pregnancy after diagnosis, diagnosis during pregnancy, menopause caused by treatment, body image, dating for single women, the list goes on…
I’ve been through a lot in this cancer ordeal. I’m nearly halfway through the chemotherapy phase of my treatment, and that will be followed by radiation. The doctors are working to save my body, my friends at YSC have helped save my sanity. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this group of women and the support they provide.
You can learn more about my cancer story here: