2016 Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Better options for each and every patient

October 10, 2016 | by City of Hope

Each breast cancer case is as different as the person who is diagnosed.

  • Recently engaged Kommah McDowell, just 29, was told she had a limited chance of survival — and no chance of having children.
  • Newly pregnant Stephanie Hosford was advised not to pursue her pregnancy and to focus solely on treatment for her disease.
  • Long-time City of Hope supporter Don Hoffman knew that the skin on his left areola simply didn’t look right.

Eventually, each of them came to City of Hope. Here, they received unique patient-focused care and leading-edge medicine, informed by the latest research.

Today, all are thriving.

McDowell is about to celebrate her 11th wedding anniversary with her then-fiance, with whom she now has a son. Serving as the President of the PTA, working on puzzles and being a full-time “domestic engineer” keep her busy. She said she is “feeling better than ever” and only needs an oncology check-up once a year.

Hosford has three children, including the daughter she was carrying when diagnosed and another she subsequently adopted. Now, her kids are ages 15, 10 and 8, and she is approaching her nine-year post-treatment mark. Currently, she only visits City of Hope for annual check-ups.

In addition to writing a book about her experiences, “Bald, Fat & Crazy: How I Beat Cancer While Pregnant With One Daughter and Adopting Another,” Hosford is taking classes to become a certified cancer registrar — a data specialist who captures the history, diagnosis, treatment and health status of cancer patients.

 

Don and Lois Hoffman Don and Lois Hoffman

 

And Hoffman is a pink ribbon-wearing advocate for the danger of breast cancer in men. He said that “life is good” and that he still does choreographed ballroom dancing (in which an instructor choreographs a routine for them as they are dancing) four nights a week with his wife, Lois. “It’s kind of like ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ except we don’t memorize a routine,” he explained. He is in remission, but expects to take Tamoxifen for 10 years.

As the United States continues to observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month, City of Hope is approaching the month as it always does — delivering innovative treatments to women and men recently diagnosed with breast cancer; working to find new treatments and cures for those who will be diagnosed in the future; and, ultimately, trying to prevent breast cancer from occurring at all.

We believe in better options for each and every patient. Just ask Kommah McDowell, Stephanie Hosford, and Don Hoffman.

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Learn more about City of Hope's breast cancer treatments and research. If you are looking for a second opinion or consultation about your treatment, request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-HOPE. Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.

 

 

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