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Knowledge Is Power: What Every Woman Needs To Know About Breast Cancer

By Alexandra Brown

11672010-pink-ribbon-help-the-cureI remember when I first interviewed with Motion PR one of the major goal s I hoped to achieve, given the opportunity to join the team, was to see entire projects through from start to finish. While I had, had many valuable experiences from prior internships, I only gained a small glimpse of the greater public relations picture.

On Tuesday, I felt great pride having seen through planning and logistics for a media event hosted by our client, Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center. The event, Knowledge Is Power: What Every Woman Needs To Know About Breast Cancer, featured medical experts Dr. Dennis Citrin, MD, PhD,

Medical Oncologist, Christina Shannon, ND, FABNO, Clinical Director of Naturopathic Medicine and Dr. Katherine Puckett, PhD, MS, MSW, LSCW, National Director of Mind-Body Medicine, who shared a wealth of information surrounding breast cancer advancements, how to cope with diagnosis and natural and non-toxic therapies to support healing and manage side effects.

We were honored to have award-winning journalist and veteran Chicago Tribune Reporter Bonnie Miller Rubin serve as the moderator. She sparked meaningful discussion among guests that including ADVANCE for Nurses Editor Robin Hocevar, Natural Awakenings Chicago North & North Shore Editor Peggy Malecki, Chicago Health News Examiner Blogger Brandi Walker, TouchVision Producer Kathryn Janicek, Huffington Post and NBC Contributor Andrea Metcalf, and Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s and RedEye Contributor Matt Lindner.

Key points made during an open Q&A with the media included:

Understand all your options. While it may sound obvious, Dr. Citrin encouraged women to have a thorough understanding of their specific breast cancer type, stage and family history for a personalized approach to treatment. Years ago, options were limited to treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, however, advancements have paved the way for a multi-disciplinary approach that is less invasive and toxic for patients. While there was a lot of buzz surrounding preventative mastectomies following Angelina Jolie’s public statement, he emphasized that she had a very specific case and was at high risk for breast cancer as a BRCA gene carrier. Women should first have a full understanding of their specific risks and/or history before making a decision to receive a prophylactic mastectomy.

Complementary medicine can make a big impact on a patient’s breast cancer journey. According to Dr. Shannon, in conjunction with traditional medicine, complimentary and alternative medicine can help women achieve a higher quality of life and manage side effects of treatment such as nausea, weakness, fatigue and pain.

Stress can have an immense physical impact on the body. Stress of cancer can cause 1,400 chemical changes in the body, which sustained over time, can decrease healing and survival rates. One of the many costs of living with a high level of stress for a prolonged period of time is that it compromises the immune system, which is vital to protect in one’s fight with cancer.

We were pleased with the event turnout and know that enlightening the media is the first step to educating the public about advancements in breast cancer, prevention and coping with a diagnosis.

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