Content provided by Susan G. Komen in San Diego
The month of October reminds us how important it is to get screened, but for younger women, breast cancer is not necessarily at the forefront of their thoughts.
For Hadiza, a patient who contacted Susan G. Komen in San Diego after she felt a lump in her left breast, breast cancer became top of mind. Komen stepped in to help Hadiza pay for a diagnostic service.
Susan G. Komen’s mission is to end breast cancer forever. In San Diego County, Komen helps individuals with mammograms, biopsies, ultrasounds, and other diagnostic services. Additionally, Komen provides food, housing and financial assistance, utilities, copays, childcare, transportation, patient navigation, and care coordination.
Meredith Hall-Chand, executive director of Susan G. Komen in San Diego, says that stories like Hadiza’s are a reminder to know your risk, get screened, know what is normal for you, and make healthy lifestyle choices. “We encourage patients to know what is normal for them, and if anything seems out of sorts, to make a call to their doctor,” she says.
Every day in San Diego, six women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one woman dies because of it. Men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer.
In April 2019, Hadiza was diagnosed with an invasive ductal carcinoma. After learning that it was triple negative stage 3, she made a promise to not let her diagnosis crush her, but instead “to set my priorities right, to be the best version of myself, and to not postpone success and happiness.”
Hadiza endured five months of chemotherapy and at times when she felt physically weak, she reminded herself that the treatment was temporary. “There is an up for every down in life,” she says, “and I was patiently looking forward to that. Even though I had occasional thoughts of death, I didn’t plan my life around it.”
A year and a half later, Hadiza is now in remission, and she shares her story on social media to encourage others to pay attention to their bodies.
To support Susan G. Komen, please visit komensandiego.org.