While many people will put their focus this week on breast cancer, at least one survivor knows that can be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dealing with various incarnations of the affliction.
Christy Soholt was only 28 when she was diagnosed in May of last year with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Luckily, it was stage one, which meant it hadn’t spread yet.
“It was the best possible diagnosis,” Soholt said.
“Then I tested positive for a genetic mutation which gives me a much higher risk for ovarian cancer, too.”
There was nothing Soholt could have done to prevent her cancer. Her aunt had it; her grandmother had it.
Soholt underwent a mastectomy and four rounds of chemotherapy over three months.
New research shows a link between breast cancer and other women’s cancers, such as ovarian, cervical and endometrial cancer.
“The only thing that advances treatment is knowledge,” said Lee Elliott, chief communications officer with the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
“Every day should be a pink day. Every day is an opportunity to lower your own personal risk.”
Over the past four years the foundation has invested more than $24 million in screening, prevention and research programs, such as an $11 million mobile digital mammography unit, which began roaming rural Alberta this past June.
This state-of-the-art mobile clinic will screen up to 25,000 women in remote communities for cancer this year.
In the meantime, she goes for screening every six months.
“Early detection is the most important thing,” she said. “Don’t turn a blind eye to yourself.”