Doctors stress prevention during breast cancer awareness month - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Doctors stress prevention during breast cancer awareness month

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Breast cancer awareness ribbons. Breast cancer awareness ribbons.

October is breast cancer awareness month and doctors are stressing the importance of prevention.

Doctors at Blessing said breast cancer is the leading cancer among women. In 2015 alone, the Blessing Cancer Center treated 118 breast cancer patients which was nearly 19 percent of total cancer cases.

It's hard to imagine going to a doctor's office and hearing a diagnosis that changes your life forever. Jessica Rankin, a nurse at Blessing and now a cancer survivor, went through that exact scenario.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer on February 14 of this year, a day she will always remember.

Now, she wants others to be proactive to protect themselves and their families.

"You know, life gets to going fast and you brush it aside but you don't want to do that," said Rankin. "This is something that you definitely want to jump on early."

Rankin said going through this process is something she could not have done alone. She also stated there's more supports out there than she initially thought.

Dr. Bassel Jallad, an oncologist at Blessing, works with cancer patients everyday. He said it's a difficult job to tell someone they have cancer.

Jallad said research on breast cancer has come a long way and that's why he said prevention is so important and acting quick if you are diagnosed is key.

"God forbid you have that cancer. Diagnose it early and you'll have a higher chance to cure it," said Jallad. "I think that's what everyone wants. It's good not to have it but you don't want to be in a state of denial. When this happens, you need to act upon it."

Jallad said being able to tell a patient they no longer has cancer is one of his greatest joys. However, he said the process doesn't stop there because sometimes there are post-treatment plans patients have to go through.

Jallad also said while it is rare, men are able to get breast cancer, too.

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