Breast Cancer at Age 26. A Kenyan Breast Cancer Survivor Story

I am Dorcas  Njeri Njuguna from Nairobi, Kenya. I was diagnosed with breast cancer stage 0 when i was 26years of age, single and with no child. It was very devastating and especially the thought of losing a breast and maybe never ever going to bear a child neither  get married.

I had never met a cancer survivor in my life and so there was no exemption that i was going to die in a short time and especially if i begun my chemotherapy. That day when the doctor told me of my diagnosis i cried the whole night, wrote my eulogy and was ready to die.

Thanks to my family and friends who were of great support during this time, because they really encouraged me, sourced information on cancer which they shared with me and I later came to accept the situation as it was. Was lucky to get treatment options from my doctor which included conservation therapy but that meant I had to travel out of the country. I underwent axillary lymph dissection two weeks after having gone through a lumpectomy.

Luckily i was oestrogen-progestron hormone receptor status negative and no metastasis. This was later followed by a liver ultrasound, bone scan and all was well.

In November 2006 I begun chemotherapy six sessions monthly followed by linear acceleration Radiation 35cycles in Aga-khan Hospital Pakistan. I believe early detection saves life. Ever since I thank God for I am cancer free. Now am a mother to a 20months old baby boy and a wife. Ever since I do breast cancer awareness campaigns every year in different towns to educate women on breast cancer. I would love to volunteer in your organization during your mission to Kenya.

Comments

  1. keep up the campaigns Cancer Free Women and congrats to Dorcas.
    However, right information has to be passed live or through media.
    – Dorcas’ should confirm the stage 0 breast cancer for this does not require all the three modalities of treatment (surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy) she was offered
    -Having oestrogen-progesteron hormone receptor status as negative will not be passed as lucky for the patient looses the advantage of hormone therapy (tamoxifen) which acts to prevent recurrence and also development of cancer in the other breast.

    • Thank you Alice Musibi for your reply. The biggest problem we are facing in Africa (in general) is lack of evidence based practice. A lot of times, our practice is “practice of crises” where we do what we have to do to save the situation (like fighting fire and rescuing at the same time). We have very few registered oncologists in Kenya (6 as of 2012) to deal with tens of thousands of cases that seek medical care in Kenya. Note the key words in the last sentence (Seek medical care).

      Our goal is to not only champion evidence based practice but also create awareness, educate and facilitate treatment. In cases where treatment attempt may not change the course, we hope to making death occur without pain and with dignity (hospice/palliative care). We’re based in USA and hopefully soon we’ll be domiciled in Kenya.

If you would like to share your breast cancer story, email your story on Microsoft word to cancerfreewomen[at]gmail.com.

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