All women are susceptible to breast cancer. Learn the why early detection is a key player to winning the battle.
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Female Speaker: Evelyn Morgen and her husband Chris live in a small hamlet on the Connecticut River. They've been married for ten years. She's a cancer survivor not once, but twice. More than 15 years ago Evelyn was diagnosed with colon cancer, a cancer her mother did not survive. Evelyn made it through surgery and chemotherapy, and had reached her five-year cancer free mark. Life was changing for the better. She was a newlywed, and had one more doctor's visit to go. But a new problem was on the horizon. Evelyn Morgen: It was my follow up visit from the colonoscopy. And he said Congratulation's Evelyn this is wonderful news you don't need to worry. And I said ooh I was so relieved, but I found this lump and it doesn't feel right to me. And he felt it he said it doesn't feel right to me either. Female Speaker: Evelyn had found the lump during a self-exam, and just had a gut feeling. Evelyn Morgen: And there are times in your life when you just know that something is really wrong and I mean I didn't need anything else, I knew that this was not good. Female Speaker: Evelyn had been having her annual mammograms and been seen by doctors regularly throughout her battle with colon cancer. Though an earlier mammogram showed no signs of a lump, her self-exam done sometime later discovered a problem. Doctors took a biopsy of the lump. It was malignant. Evelyn had stage-three breast cancer. Evelyn Morgen: My husband was with me and we were told together. I thought I did this already, its not fair we haven't been married that long and I don't want to have to go through this again I was just celebrating the fact that I was free of cancer. Female Speaker: Evelyn's diagnosis was difficult to grasp at first. She and her husband were looking forward to doing the things they had put off because of her colon cancer. But now, she had become a patient all over again. Evelyn Morgen: So I felt scared but also hopeful, I had done it once and I would do it again. Female Speaker: Over the years, Evelyn and her doctors were persistent in following the recommended steps of screening for breast cancer. Mammography and x-ray of the breasts and annual breast exams by a physician along with breast self-examination. At the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut, Dr. Kristen Zarfos is the Assistant Professor of Surgery. Dr. Kristin Zarfos: Early detection is the key to improve survival for women with breast cancer, by educating women about the three components of early detection, we can give them the ability to improve the quality of their lives, to improve their health, and to improve their ability to survive if diagnosed with breast cancer. Female Speaker: Along with new treatments, mammography has significantly increased life expectancy. Dr. Kristin Zarfos: But because many women, particularly young women, will have dense breasts, the density of that tissue can obscure an abnormality, so that 7 to 10 % of breast cancers aren't apparent on a mammogram. Female Speaker: Most medical groups recommend women in they're 40's have mammograms every year, or every other year, and annual mammograms beginning in their 50's. Evelyn's treatment was aggressive she had a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The second time around, she made a decision on how to cope with her treatment. Evelyn Morgen: And it dawned on me, I've got to allow this chemotherapy to work and I did some imaging, it was very powerful I decided to imagine that this was an army, I had invited into my body and that this army was going to go through all of my cells, that it was going to find cancer cells wherever they were and that I had to encourage it and to allow it to find them and not tense against it. Female Speaker: Many women with breast cancer find ways of coping with the disease. At the University of Connecticut Health Center, Dr. Carolyn Runowicz is the Cancer Center Director. She's a 12-year breast cancer survivor herself and wants women to know breast