Advancements in medicine and technology mean breast cancer patients are living longer, and many cancers are now treated as chronic illnesses rather than terminal diseases. Life expectancy, even for multiple stage 4 cancers, has risen.
Melanie Begue had a moment of self-revelation when she discovered a lump on her breast in August 2019. “I have had a lot of things throughout my life that have been a little bit traumatic. I try and let things bounce off my back,” said Begue. “When I found the lump, I knew what it was. I knew it wasn’t an everyday cyst. I knew I had to stay mentally clear, otherwise I never would have been able to physically fight it.”
When Elizabeth Amireh’s son was away at college when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2014, she hesitated in telling him. “I didn’t want him to see everything I went through; I didn’t want him to worry,” she explained. “My mom did the same thing for me. She tried not to make her situation seem as bad as it was.”
Aultman Hospital is the local leader in cancer care. “Aultman is the leader when it comes to cancer care, and specifically breast cancer care. We see and treat the largest number of breast cancer patients here in our community and offer the most comprehensive care,” said Tina Biasella, MSN, RN, NE-BC, vice president of Cancer Services at Aultman Hospital. Last year alone, Aultman diagnosed and treated nearly 300 patients for breast cancer.
“It’s the last thing a man is going to think of,” said Don Williams, a survivor of breast cancer. A retired crane operator at the Timken Co., Williams underwent a mastectomy in 2013 after being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.
It’s great when mothers and daughters have things in common—but not in every case. Consider the case of Paula Breedlove and her daughter, Erica Newman, a mother-daughter duo from East Sparta who are breast cancer survivors.
Judy Provo wasn’t about to let breast cancer slow her down. The Ontario, Canada, native and longtime Canton resident loves to travel. It was after an annual beach trip that she sought out a doctor about a weird symptom: Whenever she’d wear a bathing suit, she’d feel the sun burning a specific spot on her chest.