Stories about breast cancer that can inspire and inform

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April’s Story: Embracing Life with Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Six years after undergoing treatment for stage 1 breast cancer, April learned she had stage 4 (metastatic) breast cancer. “I hadn’t heard of metastatic breast cancer. When the doctor told me there was no cure, it was just devastating. No cure? You end up thinking about death. In the back of my mind, I was thinking ‘okay, I’m going to go through this for the rest of my life.’”

Nancy’s Story: The Ninth Person in Her Family to Have Breast Cancer

Nancy was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2022.. Her diagnosis was not necessarily a surprise to her. “I’m number nine in my family for breast cancer,” she said. On Nancy’s maternal side, her grandmother and grandfather both had breast cancer, as did an uncle and aunt and several cousins. What surprised Nancy more than her diagnosis was that neither she nor any of her family members tested positive for a BRCA gene mutation.

Lauren’s Story: Educating Others About BRCA Gene Mutations & Breast Cancer Risk

Just before her 38th birthday, Lauren Yerkes learned she had breast cancer. Genetic testing would reveal she had the BRCA2 inherited gene mutation that made her at higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. “My experience has made me want to educate people about inherited BRCA mutations and to push for genetic testing, because people don’t really talk about it,” Lauren said. “I had no idea I was at risk.”

Royce’s Breast Cancer Story: Just Keep Going Forward, One Step at a Time

Royce’s breast cancer story began after a routine mammogram. “I was pretty vigilant and kept up with my regular mammograms,” she said. “The called me back at the radiologist office and said it looked like I had early breast cancer.” Follow-up tests confirmed her diagnosis. It was during this experience that she realized how much strength she had within herself. “You never know how strong you are until you have to be strong,” she said.

Iris’ Story: I Didn’t Know Pain Could Be an Indicator of Metastatic Breast Cancer

When Iris completed treatment for stage 2 breast cancer, she assumed her breast cancer journey was over. But 13 years later, after experiencing unexplained pain, Iris was devastated to learn she had stage 4 (metastatic) breast cancer (MBC). “I had no idea pain could be related to MBC,” Iris said. “I have difficult days, but I don’t look at this as a death sentence. My family me strength, and we’re going to live our lives.”

Shining a Spotlight on Clinical Trials

Sheila Johnson had never planned to be a fierce advocate for clinical trials, but her life took a dramatic turn when she lost her mother to metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in 2004. Just five years later, she found that she also had MBC when her doctor found the burning sensation she felt was the result of a tumor pressing against the wall of her chest. At the time of her diagnosis, the tumor had already spread to her ribs and liver. Following multiple rounds of chemotherapy, Sheila’s doctor offered her another option.