When you or a loved one is diagnosed with breast cancer, it can be the scariest moment of your life. The truth is, survival rates for breast cancer are often quite high, especially for those who recognize early symptoms and seek treatment during the first stages of the disease. Long-term breast cancer survival is entirely possible. Knowing about breast cancer survival can prepare you for life after treatment and give you a more accurate perspective of your condition.
Just a few notable breast cancer survivors include Suzanne Somers, Olivia Newton John, Sandra Day O’Connor, and even Richard Roundtree (the actor most famous for his role as Shaft). When Sandra Day O’Connor was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1982, she underwent a mastectomy and returned to her position as a Supreme Court Justice just six days after the operation. She continued her work on the Court until her retirement in 2006. Justice O’Connor saw that her illness didn’t limit her abilities or ambitions–she simply continued to take care of herself and live her life to the fullest while living with the disease.
A diagnosis of breast cancer is not necessarily a death sentence. While you and your family may be in shock after the initial diagnosis, remember that breast cancer is a disease that, if you catch the early symptoms and get treated right away, is very survivable. Surviving breast cancer is very possible, and knowledge of the stages and what comes after can prepare you to live after breast cancer.
Many women who develop breast cancer overcome the disease to lead long, productive lives. In fact, nearly all women who are diagnosed with stage I breast cancer live for at least another five years (and usually much longer than that). Survivors have their own special concerns because they are susceptible to relapses, making it vital breast cancer survivors know what options are available to help them manage their health.