Trio of breast cancer survivors on lifesaving mission

October 17, 2018 05:49 PM

Albany's Washington Park will be awash in pink on Sunday. That's when the American Cancer Society hosts "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer."

For a group of women who work at St. Peter's Hospital, the event is a kicking off point to educate women about taking control of their health. The trio of women is all part of the Wellness Team at the hospital. Now, they're sharing what they've learned to help other women. What they have to say can help save lives.


All have dealt with a diagnosis of breast cancer. Because they were diligent about having an annual mammogram, their cancers were found early when they were very treatable. So recommendation one - don't ignore your health. Second recommendation - if the diagnosis is breast cancer, take action and get information.

"The very first thing I did was meet with the breast cancer navigator – a nurse in the Breast Center," explained Pamela Rehak, a breast cancer survivor. "Once I went through all of the lab report with her, I was like, 'This is fine.'"

Angel Surdin agrees. As she puts it, don't go to "Doctor Google," - go to people who are knowledgeable so you can craft your best treatment plan.

"My first thought was to find out everything I could about the diagnosis," noted Surdin.

Knowledge is power and in the case of these women, because their cancers were caught early, each of them underwent a lumpectomy and radiation. No chemotherapy was necessary. Radiation treatment these days is shorter than in years past. That's the result of research funded, in part, with dollars raised by the American Cancer Society.

"It's all funded by groups like the American Cancer Society that have worked so hard to make sure the research is being done," pointed out Anne Lawton, RN. 

To insure that research continues, these women join with hundreds of others to walk and raise money through "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer." It's how they're paying it forward.

"So I feel like it's important to support other people out there who are going through the same thing -- only maybe 10 times more than I am," noted Surdin.

You can take part in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer on October 21. It will be at Washington Park.

MORE INFORMATION: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer


Benita Zahn

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