October Pays Tribute to Breast Cancer Victims and Survivors

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Filed Under: Women's Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, as most of you know, the pink ribbon is the logo. It has been inspiring to see so many people and businesses contribute to raising funds and awareness about this key women’s health issue. The CDC reports that in 2005, 186,467 women (and 1,764 men) were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 41,116 of them lost their lives to this insidious killer.

My own personal experiences this past year have really brought home the scope of the problem.

Unfortunately, our family and local church parish were both affected deeply when three brave women lost their battles with the disease this past summer and fall. In addition to my friend and colleague Dr. Shari Lieberman, who passed away in June after her 10-year fight, our hometown lost a beloved young mother of 5-year-old triplets, as well as a mother of three, a grandmother, and a devoted kindergarten teacher.

This past year we also championed our own daughter—herself a mother of three—as she went through breast cancer treatment. Recently she and her husband hosted a dinner party to thank all of the people who supported her through her journey. My daughter had saved all the vases from the multitude of flowers she’d received, and for the party filled them with fresh bouquets and handed them out with personalized thank you notes.

Like other fortunate women among our family, friends, and patients, we hope she lives the rest of her life without the cancer recurring. But that possibility is one she will live with for the rest of her life, like other survivors.

Our daughter’s cancer was detected early, and she chose to combine traditional cancer treatment—surgery, chemo, and radiation—with alternative approaches such as acupuncture, Reiki, massage, nutrition, imagery, prayer, and targeted supplements. She saw her naturopath as often as her oncologist, but found it still wasn’t always easy getting the right information about complementary approaches that would both assuage treatment side effects and attack the cancer cells. It shouldn’t be that hard for women to find alternative medical solutions and support.

So, one thing I did this spring to help spread information about nonconventional cancer therapies was contribute a chapter to what I feel is a groundbreaking book that’s now hitting bookstores. It’s entitled Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer and How to Prevent Getting it in the First Place, by Suzanne Somers. It was my honor to be consulted. Suzanne herself is a 10-year survivor of breast cancer who opted out of traditional medical approaches and took the road less traveled. In building her treatment team, Suzanne had to advocate for herself and search diligently to find health care professionals aligned with her desire to cure herself without toxic agents.

Women need to know that they do have options when it comes to breast cancer. Now, Suzanne is coming forth with this book—motivated by her own personal experience—to offer others vital information about alternative cancer prevention and treatment options so they don’t have to do the same searching and screening that she’s already done. Suzanne has taken a lot of heat on this subject but doesn’t back down in her belief in the promise of an integrative approach to breast cancer. I personally admire and commend Suzanne. She is a living tribute to the path she’s on—one that is alive, vivacious, and inspiring.

This book will be on my Christmas gift list, and I hope that women, as well as those of you who love them, will take the time to give it a read.

For more information on cardiovascular problems and other health conditions, visit www.drsinatra.com.

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