One in eight American women will get breast cancer. According to the World Health Organization, it's the most common cancer found in women worldwide — and, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, it's the second leading cause of death among women. So, when we use the word "survivor," we don't use it lightly.
We spoke with three breast cancer survivors about their experiences: Tig Notaro, whose surprising cancer diagnosis came amidst a slew of devastating life events; Sonia Kashuk, who was already taking preventative measures when her doctor found her lump; and Nicole Dove, who, despite her long family history of breast cancer, wasn't equipped with the knowledge to take immediate action.
The interviews that follow tell unique stories of struggle, pain, loss, and ultimately, triumph. Each woman's story is completely different in narrative, and yet the message repeats — knowledge has the power to save lives. The more that women know about breast cancer, from prevention to treatment, the safer future generations will be from this disease. And, that's the main reason these women were so willing to share their stories with us. Not for themselves, but for the other women who might be putting themselves at risk simply because of a lack of awareness.