Woman diagnosed with breast cancer at 25 urges others to get checked | Fox News

  • Liz Cooper was just 25 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. (GoFundMe.)

  • Liz Cooper is pictured surrounded by friends and family. (GoFundMe.)

When Liz Cooper was 25, she felt a lump in her right breast, but didnt think much of it. She was young, had just lost 70 pounds and was being counseled by a nutritionist and trainer. Breast cancer also didnt run rampant in her family — her grandmother had been diagnosed with it, but not until well into her 80s.

There were no real symptoms, there was just the lump under my armpit in the breast area, Cooper, now 26, told FoxNews.com.

Cooper works in the billing department at Stamford Hospital near her home in Connecticut, and told a nurse about the lump.

She asked if I was on my period because during menstruation its common to feel lumps or fluid in your breast, she said. Two weeks later it was still there, so I made an appointment with my doctor, got a prescription for an ultrasound, had it done and they knew right away at the ultrasound, she said. A subsequent biopsy confirmed the lump was cancerous.

Cooper was diagnosed with stage 1B invasive micropapillary breast carcinoma and micrometastasis in the lymph nodes. She tested positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which promotes the growth of cancer cells; HER2-positive breast cancers tend to be more aggressive than others. Because her cancer tested positive for estrogen and progesterone, Cooper had her lymph nodes removed to avoid further spread.

I cant take birth control because itll feed it, she said.

Coopers diagnosis shocked her doctors, and she underwent genetic testing to see if she might be susceptible to any other mutations. She tested negative for mutations to the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes, and aside from her grandmother does not have a family history of the cancer. 

Ultimately, she decided to undergo a bilateral mastectomy removing both the breast with cancer and the healthy breast despite results testing negative for the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutation. Had she chosen a lumpectomy, she would have had to endure biopsies and imaging every six months to monitor any development in her affected breast. In addition to the stress of the surgeries, Cooper also had to decide whether to freeze her eggs before beginning chemotherapy.

I went through two cycles of egg freezing oocyte cryopreservation and my insurance only covered $5,000 of it, Cooper said. I also had to get over the fear of giving myself shots for it. 

During this time, Cooper had five surgical drains attached to body and was unable to drive while she recovered from the double mastectomy. Her parents, boyfriend and best friend managed her medications around the clock and drove her to and from appointments. When all was said and done, she was ready to start chemotherapy in August 2015.

I was terrified of being sick and losing my hair, she said. When you dont have hair, [people] know that youre sick.

Cooper decided to donate 14 inches of her hair to Pantenes Beautiful Lengths partnership with the American Cancer Society before she lost it to chemotherapy. Her treatment required a cocktail of four different drugs and six cycles of chemotherapy every 21 days. Once she completed it, Cooper began a targeted therapy that will last through August. At that time, shell be placed on a hormone blocker for five years, and continue to go for follow-up scans for the rest of her life.

The feelings from chemotherapy were like having the flu, pneumonia and severe exhaustion all together, she said. It feels like you drink carbonated metallic gasoline it does not make you feel very well.  

The drugs also affected her memory, and Cooper said she sometimes feels like shes in a constant fog. She doesnt have much time or energy to socialize, as she is in physical therapy three to four times per week to treat painful lymphedema, which is a result of the surgery to remove her lymph nodes.

I feel like I live at the doctors office so my schedule is very hectic with appointments, and its just not your average 25-year-olds schedule, she said, adding that it’s difficult to know she could be attending graduate school or traveling at this time.

Instead I had to be careful going out in public because if my white blood count was low I could risk getting an infection, she said. I couldnt relate to peoples conversations anymore I had totally different problems and issues and nobody truly understands how many treatments are involved with having cancer.

To stay inspired on her darkest days, Cooper turned to the wisdom of two co-workers who are breast cancer survivors, as well as her friends and family urging her to be strong. Her friends started a GoFundMe for her medical care, with the response helping to boost her morale even more. In addition, she found an online support group exclusively accessible to breast cancer patients. On April 2, her alma mater, Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, is holding a lacrosse game benefitting breast cancer research in her honor.

More on this…

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/03/18/woman-diagnosed-with-breast-cancer-at-25-urges-others-to-get-checked.html

Janice Dickinson has breast cancer

Janice Dickinson is battling breast cancer, FOX411 has confirmed.

The model hopes to spread the word about the importance of breast cancer screenings.

All women need to address the possibility and have regular checkups, she stated via email. My loving children and fiancé Rocky are by my side and I feel very blessed.

Dickinson confirmed the news of her illness after a DailyMail.com report revealed she discovered her cancer after visiting a doctor for a stomach issue.

Her manager told to us, “Janice is going to fight and she will not let this diagnosis define her. She wants to encourage all women to have regular checkups, as that is how her cancer was discovered.”

Dickinson, 61, began her career as a successful model in the ’70s and had a second run in the limelight in the early 2000s as a judge on Americas Next Top Model.

More recently, shes made headlines for claiming Bill Cosby raped her. She sued the comedian for defamation. She has a court appearance related to her defamation suit scheduled for tomorrow. 

“Janice and I will be there tomorrow morning to fight for her right to have her day in court against Bill Cosby,” her manager said. 

Fox News’ Diana Falzone contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2016/03/28/janice-dickinson-has-breast-cancer/

Janice Dickinson Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

The world’s self-proclaimed firstsupermodel has been diagnosed with breast cancer. 

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, Janice Dickinson, 61, details every step of the emotional process from the doctor’s appointment discovery of a small lump on her breast to the support she’s received from her friends and family. 

Just over two weeks ago, during a routine medical examination, doctors identified a potentially cancerous mass on Dickinson’s right breast. A mammogram later confirmed that the reality star was suffering from early stage ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a common and highly treatable form of breast cancer, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. 

Treatment for Dickinson’s type of cancer is usually non-invasive, most often not requiring any chemotherapy, unless the cancer spreads to other parts of the body. Patients typically undergo a lumpectomy or, in more severe cases, a mastectomy. Dickinson was diagnosed at an early stage. 

“It’s still quite shocking. Today I got very scared,” she told the Daily Mail. “I just get very scared and it hit me. But I am not gonna let that define me, the fear. I’m going to get through this, I’ll be just fine kiddo.”

Dickinson, who made a name for herself on the fashion runways of the 1970s and ’80s, suspected the diagnosis when the lump became “quite painful” to touch. The news was particularly difficult to process considering Dickinson’s mother passed away from cancer. 

But the former “America’s Next Top Model” judge refuses to adopt a defeatist attitude, choosing instead to use her past experiences and pedigree as fuel to fight the disease. 

“You can’t be brave and fierce and all the things that people know you from — reality television, from the fashion industry, from being the world’s first supermodel, from being a judge, from being a writer, a photographer, from being an AIDS activist,” she said. 

Never one to stray too far from the cameras, Dickinson will document her treatment on the daytime series “The Doctors,” starting April 6. According to the Daily Mail, “The Doctors” will be with Dickinson for every treatment and procedure. 

Despite the diagnosis, Dickinson hasn’t lost her sense of humor and brash personality that made her stand out on her many reality shows. 

“Don’t feel sorry for me, this is not a pity party,” she said. “I’m Janice Dickinson and I’m gonna stick around for a long, long time, you ain’t getting rid of me yet.”

Head over to the Daily Mail for more from Dickinson. 

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/03/28/janice-dickinson-breast-cancer_n_9556626.html

Choir singing may boost cancer patients’ health, study says

(CNN)Singing might become a new prescription for cancer patients.

 
A new study has found an association between choir singing and a boosted immune system in cancer patients. The study suggests singing in a choir could help put cancer patients in the best possible position to receive treatment and maintain remission.
 
The research published by the cancer journal founded by the European Institute of Oncology in Milan featured 193 patients who were either in remission, caring for cancer patients or were caregivers to a now-deceased cancer patient.
Each participant was involved in a Sing with Us choir in South Wales. Tenovus Cancer Care runs the Sing with Us choir and funded the study.

 

Tenovus

Participants sang in a single 70 minute choir rehearsal. Choir members gave a saliva sample and filled out a questionnaire assessing their mood and stress levels before and after rehearsal. The results indicated that singers’ mood increased and their stress levels decreased. This is the first study to demonstrate that the immune system can be affected by singing, according to the study.
 
“This research is so exciting, as it echoes everything all our choir members tell us about how singing has helped them,” Rosie Dow, head of Sing with Us at Tenovus Cancer Care and co-author of the research, said in a press release.
One participant, Diane Raybould, 64, has been singing with Bridgend Sing with Us choir since 2010. She was diagnosed with breast cancer 14 years ago. Her daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer at the same time and died of the disease when she was 28.
“Singing in the choir is about more than just enjoyment. It genuinely makes you feel better,” Raybould said in a press release. “Having cancer and losing someone to cancer can be very isolating. With the choir, you can share experiences openly and that is hugely important.”
The sense of community and uplifting songs that a choir provides may lift patients spirits, but Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, said more research would have to be done to know if this is an effective treatment.
“A study to show that choir participation reduces risk of cancer requires at least a decade or more of followup and requires several thousand people,” he said.
The researchers, who are employees of Tenovus Cancer Care, are launching a two-year study looking in more depth at the longer term effect of choir singing.
“I’ve seen peoples’ lives transformed through singing in our choirs so knowing that singing also makes a biological difference will hopefully help us to reach more people with the message that singing is great for you: mind, body and soul,” Dow said.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/08/health/singing-cancer-study-irpt/index.html

5 breast cancer organizations to check out before you buy anything with a pink ribbon on it.

Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States.

It is the
second-most common-cancer worldwide, and there are over 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone.

Photo by Rana Sajid Hussain/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images.

With numbers like that, it makes sense that when we are shopping for groceries, we would buy the box of cereal with a pink ribbon on it rather than the one without. Part of our purchase goes to finding a cure for breast cancer, right? Or to supporting survivors and their families? Or to educating about breast cancer prevention and recovery?

Not always. For many companies, stamping a package with a pink ribbon just means that they’re raising awareness” and that pink ribbon is rarely accompanied by any facts or figures to actually educate the public.

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images.

While organizations like Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Avon Foundation are painting the country pink this Halloween season, some people are pushing them to do better and are raising public awareness of a different problem. On Oct. 7, the Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas issued a notice to consumers to be on alert for ‘pinkwashing’ and breast cancer charity scams.”

Pinkwashing is what happens when your grocery store aisles and football jerseys suddenly turn pink for a month in the name of supporting breast cancer awareness.”

Technically speaking, yes, people are more aware” of breast cancer as a result.

Those pink ribbons are pretty conspicuous. They also aren’t trademarked (although the Komen Foundation has trademarked their own version of the pink ribbon), so pretty much any company can put a ribbon on a package and call it a day without actually having to give any money or do
anything about breast cancer.

It sometimes feels like awareness organizations care more about the body parts and less about the actual people living with cancer.

Those awareness campaigns rarely include any information other than the obvious: Breast cancer exists, and it’s scary. And while some campaigns are just empty promises of awareness, others are also fairly short-sighted.

With campaigns like Save the Tatas” and I Love Boobies” implying that the breasts are more important than the people attached to them, it sometimes feels like awareness organizations care more about the body parts and less about the actual people living with cancer.

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

Finding a cure, building survivor support networks, and raising awareness about early detection are all admirable goals.

Donating directly to an organization helps ensure that more of your donation goes toward breast-cancer-related research and support programs. But not all organizations use their funds the same way. A portion of donations always go toward company overhead and that’s OK. Nonprofits need to pay their staff members and pay the rent on their buildings.

But figuring out where to direct your donations dollars and support to make sure they’re actually being used wisely is sometimes a lot harder than it should be.

Here’s a list of five organizations other than Komen or Avon that you might want to support this Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

1. Breast Cancer Research Foundation

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation believes that to achieve a world without breast cancer, we need to fund research to understand how cancer works, how to prevent it, and how to cure it. Of all money donated,
88% goes directly toward research, and only 3% goes toward awareness programming. They’re still pinking out this October, but you can rest easier knowing that your dollars are funding scientists across the globe. And this month, a donor is matching all gifts to the BCRF up to $50,000 total.

2. Sisters Network Inc.

Sisters Network Inc. is dedicated to educating about the impact that breast cancer has on black communities.
Black women experience the highest breast cancer mortality rates, and breast cancer is the second-highest cause of death among black women behind only lung cancer. Sisters Network Inc. provides financial assistance for medical-related lodging, prosthesis, copays, and office visits. They also lead educational initiatives targeted toward young women.

3. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

The Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute provides medical services for breast cancer patients, including treatment therapies, reconstructive surgeries, diagnostics, and customized treatment plans. Although their breast-cancer-related services are housed in their Center for Women’s Cancers,
they have a program dedicated to supporting and treating men with breast cancer.

4. Breast Cancer Fund

The Breast Cancer Fund is working to connect the dots between breast cancer and environmental factors that cause breast cancer. They educate about chemicals in food, packaging, and cosmetics that may be linked to breast cancer. You won’t find a splash of pink on their website because BCF believes that we are all plenty aware of breast cancer and it’s time to work on taking action.

5. Living Beyond Breast Cancer

Living Beyond Breast Cancer builds connections between people who have been affected by breast cancer. It’s based in Pennsylvania, but they work nationwide. And Healthline listed their blog as one of the best breast cancer blogs of 2014. Their online resources include webinars, help chat lines, writing workshops, and live-stream panels, so anyone can access support services regardless of where they live.

Breast cancer survivors deserve more than pretty pink ribbons they deserve real hope, strong support systems, and accessible medical care.

So while we’re painting our towns pink this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let’s make sure that we’re also supporting organizations that are spreading real knowledge and working directly with those affected.

If none of these organizations struck your fancy, visit Charity Navigator to find your own.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/5-breast-cancer-organizations-to-check-out-before-you-buy-anything-with-a-pink-ribbon-on-it?c=tpstream