It’s been estimated that roughly 30 percent of newly-diagnosed cancers in women are breast cancer diagnoses. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women after skin cancer, and the often-touted stat is that one in eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. These people are your co-workers, your friends, your sisters, your mothers — and each of them has a story.
And while the rate of women succumbing to breast cancer has been steadily decreasing since 2000, we still have a long way to go before we get to a cure and a world where we won’t have to say goodbye to anyone we love because of breast cancer, which is why Breast Cancer Awareness Month remains important. However, when the awareness month ends and the pink ribbon is no longer on everyone’s lapel, the words and experiences of these patients and survivors are even more important to take to heart.
We need to continue to shed light on the strides that science is making toward eradicating breast cancer — all year round. We need to continue to encourage women to get their yearly mammograms, to understand how to look out for their health and we need to continue to support people battling this disease.
In support of them, we’ve rounded up a number of inspiring quotes from some badass survivors and patients (some whose names you know, some you don’t) who have battled or are battling breast cancer.
Get inspired by these quotes, share any that inspire you and look for ways to support patients and survivors in your own life.
A version of this story as originally published October 2015.
Shonte is a 37-year-old nurse practitioner living with metastatic breast cancer. She uses her voice and experiences to advocate for research, awareness and representation of Black and other underserved patient groups on Capitol Hill and through the Tigerlily Foundation. See more of Shonte’s story and the stories of others around the world living with MBC on MBCUnfiltered.com.
While there’s some complicated mixed feelings about framing cancer as a “battle,” it’s helpful to rally your fighting spirit.
They are just breasts — and your community and family and loved ones value you so much more than just your body.
Building a care team that is compassionate and aligned with you is essential and you do not need to just sit with pessimistic first opinions!
Sometimes a health scare can help give you perspective.
Celebrate your wins and absoltuely tell cancer to F-off!
Don’t let cancer devour you.
Sometimes little acts of self-care and self-understanding make all the difference. Cry, wallow and then hop in the shower.
If you’ve beaten cancer, revel in that victory and let it boost your confidence. You really deserve it.
You may have some identity crisis, high-stress feelings as you navigate cancer — you are not alone in feeling that way and you can find people who understand.
Donna W. Hill
Don’t let the negative thoughts rule — “you are not a very good fortune teller.”
Cancer is not your life story!
It’s not a club you want to be a part of but it is a club full of members who understand you and really get it.
A health scare can really put into perspective the things you can control and the things you can’t.
You can choose how you handle this scary situation, even if you didn’t choose to have it thrust on you.
Practicing gratitute and sending that good energy on to your community is a restorative practice.
Don’t let cancer stand in your way!
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