Survivor raises awareness
by Haley Ferrett
Feb 22, 2014 | 1326 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Patricia Fair recently received the shock of her life when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and although she has had a rapid recovery, the experience she went through has made her determined to bring awareness to the illness and encourage women to get tested early.

Fair was diagnosed on January 2, 2014, and says that although she was shocked by the news, she had her priorities in order.

“I was alarmed at first,” said Fair. “I never thought that this would ever happen to me. I recently had my 50th birthday. I wasn’t afraid—I just wanted to know all of the answers. So I did what my doctor suggested and things went smoothly and quickly. Now I am recovering and doing well.”

Fair’s doctor suggested that Fair have a mastectomy, in which her breast and lymph nodes were removed.

“The greatest struggle was the part where I went through surgery,” said Fair, “which went fairly well.”

Since surgery, Fair has now been in remission for over a week and can now count herself as a cancer survivor. However, not all women who get the same diagnosis as Fair have such fortunate outcomes. The most successful way to prevent a situation like Fair’s is to seek early breast examination.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women over 40 to have a mammogram every year even if there are no signs of cancer development. It even recommends that women in their 20s and 30s to have a clinical breast exam by a health professional every three years.

The ACS also recommends that women 20 years of age and older to do a breast self-exam, directions for which can be found on the ACS official website.

Early examination is especially important for women who are at a high risk for breast cancer. Factors that determine high risk can also be found on the ACS website.

Now that Fair is in recovery, she can look back on her struggle with breast cancer as a learning experience that made her stronger in her faith and closer to her loved ones.

“I was motivated by my faith in God and the support of my spouse, family, and friends,” said Fair. “I want to be around for my niece and nephews.”

“This is only the beginning and now that I am cancer free, I give much love to the man above,” said Fair. “I thank God for letting me beat this and allowing me to spread the word to others that a yearly breast exam is what saved me. I may have lost a breast but thank God for life.”