25 April 2012

FIVE years cancer free!

I am very excited because this is the five year anniversary of my cancer surgery. Although, I have been feeling great and have not had any recent issues, I still couldn't help but to hold my breath right before this important day.

Several years ago, I wrote about my experience, which I am reposting. It is always nice to hear your surgical oncologist wish you a very Happy Anniversary :)


As I approach my 37th birthday this Sunday, I am celebrating by coincidentally being featured in Girlfriends Health Guide . October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and my story is about having breast cancer at a young age. Girlfriends is a free quarterly health publication, published by Strive Media Institute. In 2007, I had a lumpectomy which, after a biopsy, was found to be the very beginning stage of breast cancer. I am VERY fortunate. I did not have to endure chemotherapy or radiation, but was urged to begin an oral treatment of tamoxifen. I am a huge advocate of self breast exams for the prevention of breast cancer, and especially encourage women in their 20s & 30s to do them because of our generation’s invincible attitude that breast cancer could “never happen to me-I’m too young.” I recently hosted a video about self-examinations for ABCAP.org . I also hosted a DVD for cancer survivors for my sorority, Phi Mu Fraternity, called “Scarves”. Now that I have been without cancer for a year (still not considered cancer free) , I will spend the next four years of my life doing MRIs, mammograms and appointments with two different oncologists every six months. Breast cancer stories about younger women, including actress, Christina Applegate, are becoming a bit more common. Hopefully, this will encourage women our age and younger to become more informed of this disease. Encourage all of the women in your life to do self-examinations monthly, in addition to having an exam done by a physician. Men are prone to breast cancer too and should also be checked. Please share your stories or dedicate a message to someone you know who has been touched by breast or other types of cancer.

Rikki Ragland
the preppy debutante