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MOVING TOWARDS HEALTH: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

As I researched this article, I hoped to include personal stories from long-term breast cancer survivors - and to my delight women came out of the woodwork in their droves, all of them wonderful, warm and keen to let other women know that life goes on. I often heard repeated from these women similar stories about how they coped at the time, how breast cancer has changed their view of life, and if they could have their time again how they would have wanted more information. As late as the mid-1980s breast cancer was not a widely discussed subject, but it has come out of the closet and women are prepared to share their experiences with others. Knowledge is power, and all these women feel that they have learnt from their experience and applied the information gained for the benefit of themselves and their families. Rarely did I encounter women who did not radically change their attitudes to life, living more for the moment and savouring precious times. The majority of them felt empowered by learning and changing their lifestyles and diets and were happy that they had become more aware of their health. And when I say the majority, these were not a carefully selected group of nutritionally paranoid women, but women that I met at breast cancer support groups who came from all walks of life. The one thing that is assured these days, if you are unfortunate enough to have just been diagnosed with breast cancer, is that you have a wealth of opportunities to meet other women who have been through a similar experience and who are willing to listen or provide information, as needed.

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