Alive and kicking cancer

Alive and kicking cancer

Diane Fox continues recovery after long, painful breast cancer ordeal
Diane Fox receives a hug from her son, Devin, at the basketball seniors night for Montezuma-Cortez High School.
Diane Fox works at the Cortez Police Station as the school and youth officer. She’s been with the Cortez Police Department for the past 19 years, and is currently on light duty as she continues her cancer recovery.
Photographed in the Southwest Oncology Center in Durango, Diane Fox receives a chemotherapy treatment. Following her first chemotherapy treatment on Sept. 25, 2011, Fox suffered a serious infection that resulted in her being hospitalized for 35 days. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in early August.
Derek Fox, third from left, poses with members of his Air Force flight squadron. The members shaved their heads in support of Derek’s mom, Diane Fox and her battle with cancer.
Breast Cancer Facts & Info

PREVALENCE FACTS Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer in all reported cancer cases, accounting for a little more than 10 percent of cancer diagnoses around the world. Women are about 100 times more likely to develop the disease than men; however, the survival rates are about the same regardless of the patient’s sex. About 519,000 people died from the disease in 2004.
SYMPTOM FACTS
One of the most common symptoms of breast cancer is an abnormal lump or mass in the breast. The most effective way to detect a lump is to perform a monthly self-exam. An annual mammogram, performed at a doctor’s office, can detect lumps in their earliest stages, increasing the odds for a complete recovery. Other common breast cancer symptoms include unexplainable changes in breast size, shape, or color. Patients and doctors often report that cancerous breasts remind them of oranges because they develop a reddish tint and bumpy texture. While this is a common symptom for some types of breast cancer, the absence of this symptom does not mean breast cancer isn’t present, because many women with the disease never experience this sign.
TREATMENT FACTS
The most common treatment for breast cancer is surgery. Depending on the stage of the disease, surgeons might be able to remove the cancerous tumors while leaving the breast intact. In other cases, however, a mastectomy, though a more drastic surgery, is necessary in order to reduce the risk of recurrence. Many patients also receive medication and radiation treatments. Radiation greatly reduces the risk of a patient developing breast cancer again, but it sometimes causes side effects that are difficult to tolerate. Medication can also cause unwanted side effects in some women.

SURVIVAL STATISTICS
Doctors are so confident that they can treat stage I breast cancer that they give patients a 100 percent five-year survival rate. Even in cases with a slightly more advanced stage of the disease, there are reasons to be extremely optimistic. For instance, those with stage IIA have a 92 percent chance of surviving the disease for at least five years, and even those with stage IIIB breast cancer have a 54 percent survival rate. That’s a better than one in two chance of survival, and a betting person would tell you to take those odds! All things considered, regardless of the odds, The Breast Cancer Society will always bet in favor of survival. With hope, wonderful miracles can and do occur every day with cancer patients.

COMMON STATISTICS
Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer for women. Every woman has a 12 percent chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some point in her life. In fact, of all the women you know, 1 in 8 will contract some form of breast cancer in her lifetime. While these are scary statistics, it’s important to realize that very few people actually die from the disease. The bottom line is, only about 3 percent of women die from breast cancer. The odds—1 in 35–are definitely in the patient’s favor.

IMPROVEMENTS
Another reason for women to have hope is that incidence rates of the disease (in the U.S.) have actually been decreasing for the last decade. From 1999 to 2005, the incidence rate dropped by 2.2 percent, a large number for a disease that affects 12 percent of all women. Likewise, instances of death from breast cancer have been dropping for more than a decade, especially in women under 50. As medical technology continues to improve and women learn more about how they can reduce their risks of developing the disease, these statistics will continue to improve.
Understanding Statistics
It is important for women and their families to understand that, while breast cancer is a very serious disease, it is not a death sentence. Staying alert, getting regular exams and immediately addressing any early warning signs are the best ways to detect possible cancerous cells while they are still easy to treat.

Source: www.breastcancersociety.org

Relay for life

Relay for Life of Montezuma County is set for July 20 at Parque de Vida. For more information or to get involved, contact Susan Williams susan.williams@cancer.org or (970) 247-0278.

Alive and kicking cancer

Diane Fox receives a hug from her son, Devin, at the basketball seniors night for Montezuma-Cortez High School.
Diane Fox works at the Cortez Police Station as the school and youth officer. She’s been with the Cortez Police Department for the past 19 years, and is currently on light duty as she continues her cancer recovery.
Photographed in the Southwest Oncology Center in Durango, Diane Fox receives a chemotherapy treatment. Following her first chemotherapy treatment on Sept. 25, 2011, Fox suffered a serious infection that resulted in her being hospitalized for 35 days. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in early August.
Derek Fox, third from left, poses with members of his Air Force flight squadron. The members shaved their heads in support of Derek’s mom, Diane Fox and her battle with cancer.
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