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Woman Describes How Breast Cancer Changed Her Life
Date:10/14/2011

't have this surgery for nothing."

After the tumor was tested, Rowden said, an oncologist told her that she could have chemotherapy but it might not be of much use. "He said it wouldn't buy me much benefit because I had a particularly slow-growing tumor," she said. "He presented it as my choice. I decided not to have chemotherapy."

She has remained cancer-free. However, she explained, breast cancer altered the course of her life.

She had been a technical writer, working on software manuals that few people ever read. After her surgery, she became a breast cancer advocate and now works as the vice president of survivorship and outcomes for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a nonprofit group focused on combating breast cancer .

Among the most important advice she gives to women diagnosed with the disease, she said, is to slow down and take your time.

"It's not an emergency in terms of making a decision today," she said. "I think it's helpful to give people permission to do a little homework and think about the decisions they have to make."

More information

A companion article details advances in breast cancer treatment.

SOURCE: Diana Rowden, vice president, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Dallas


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