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By Sue Moen 

Breast Cancer Awareness 5K Walk to Be Held October 24

 

October 15, 2020

Sue Moen

Dawn Pederson, Roxie Kolasch, and Annette Aeberhard are all breast cancer survivors, and are holding a 5K Walk on October 24, 2020, beginning and ending at the Monticello Fire Station.

Recently, three Monticello women who have survived breast cancer decided that, although they understood the reasons that most benefit walks for Breast Cancer Awareness have been cancelled, they really wanted to be able to walk with friends and family. Roxie Kolasch, Annette Aeberhard and Dawn Pederson set out to organize an informal 5K walk for family, friends and anyone else who would like to join them. The walk will be held in Monticello on October 24, beginning and ending at the Monticello Fire Station. The walk is free, and no registration is necessary. Anyone who wants to participate should plan on lining up at 9:00 a.m., with the walk beginning at 9:15 a.m.

While everyone's experience is different, all three women spoke about the impact the diagnosis had for them. Annette Aeberhard said, "You don't forget the day you were told the news. For me, it was a Wednesday. The date was October 22, 2008, and I had a 3:45 appointment with my primary doctor. I had already told my husband, Mike, on Monday the 20th that I had cancer. I knew. My doctor's office had called me on that Monday to tell me I needed to make an appointment to go over my test results with my doctor. If everything is ok, you don't need to make an appointment to hear your results. We went in for my appointment and my doctor looked at me and said, 'Annette, you're a smart woman. You know why you're here.' I looked at her and said, 'Yes, I have breast cancer.' It's been 12 years since that day. I look at life as a gift, more than I did before. I was always and still am a pretty positive person and that helped in my recovery, in my opinion."

Roxie Kolasch has been diagnosed with breast cancer twice. "I was diagnosed with breast cancer on July 24, 2006, and again on July 24, 2014–exactly eight years apart. The first time I was diagnosed, I was terrified: what was going to happen, was I going to die, would I see my sons grow up? The second time, I was just ticked! I knew no matter what, I was going to win! Though cancer took part of my body, it couldn't take my spirit. Barry Manilow told me that 'I made it through the rain'-yes, I did!" Roxie added, "While I am still on meds, I don't see myself as a cancer patient; I am a wife, mom, grammy, grad student, sister, friend, legal assistant and concert junkie!"

Dawn Pederson commented, "Words you don't want to hear...it's cancer! Some may look at that as an end all statement. For me, it was a new beginning. Trials can either be looked at as something negative or, they can be looked at as an opportunity. I feel it was an opportunity to draw on my inner strength and to find out exactly where that comes from. Finding my strength through our Father in Heaven has made me return to a life and heart filled with gratitude for every little thing and everyone placed in my path. I have to say that I am actually thankful for the storm because it has made me that much stronger. Anything motivational or positive that I can share with someone in a time of need (no matter what that may be) is a gift I wish to pay forward. Our community is very good at being aware of the needs of others and is truly a demonstration of togetherness. Thank you!"

Annette also said, "When you feel like you're given a second shot, make the most of it! Hug your friends and loved ones, tell them you love them, don't put things off, be spontaneous, eat the dessert (before the meal, if you want) and laugh as much as possible...as LOUD as you want. In other words, enjoy every possible moment. I know I'm trying to."

Some breast cancer statistics from breastcancer.org:

About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

In 2020, an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 48,530 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.

About 2,620 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2020. A man's lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 883.

About 42,170 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2020 from breast cancer. Death rates have been steady in women under 50 since 2007, but have continued to drop in women over 50. The overall death rate from breast cancer decreased by 1.3% per year from 2013 to 2017. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances and earlier detection through screening.

For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.

As of January 2020, there are more than 3.5 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.

Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2020, it's estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.

In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in Black women than white women. Overall, Black women are more likely to die of breast cancer. For Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women, the risk of developing and dying from breast cancer is lower. Ashkenazi Jewish women have a higher risk of breast cancer because of a higher rate of BRCA mutations.

Breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. began decreasing in the year 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades. They dropped by 7% from 2002 to 2003 alone. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women's Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk. In recent years, incidence rates have increased slightly by 0.3% per year.

A woman's risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.

 
 

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