Two courageous stories of breast cancer and survival

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. The chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman’s life is about 1 in 8 (12%). The American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2014 are:

  • About 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 62,570 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 40,000 women will die from breast cancer.

Our patients are our heroes

Here at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, our corridors are filled with patients and their loved ones. Each one is a hero. Here are the stories of two of our patients:

A Shockingly Simple Way: When Flora Migyanka was diagnosed in 2012, she learned how quickly life is brought into perspective by a breast cancer diagnosis. Flora shares her story:

At age 40, Renee Janovsky congratulated herself for getting her baseline mammogram. To Renee’s surprise, it revealed a rare and aggressive breast cancer. Five-plus years later, she shares her story:

More facts about breast cancer

  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The good news is that breast cancer is a disease that can be treated and cured.
  • Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, with larger decreases in women younger than 50.
  • At this time there are about 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. (This includes both women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.)
  • Treatment for breast cancer includes surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, endocrine/anti-hormone therapy and clinical trials.

Take the next step:

  • Read more about breast cancer and its treatment at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.
  • Browse a list of our breast cancer clinical trials.
  • Learn from the extensive breast cancer resources at the American Cancer Society.

A woman holds a sign that says survivorWhat does cancer look like? In this series of stories we explore the Face of Cancer – the patients, survivors, caregivers and health care providers who are redefining what cancer looks like. These stories celebrate the ways in which people continue to live their life, find purpose and stay true to themselves throughout cancer treatment.



University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer CenterThe University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 1,000 doctors, nurses, care givers and researchers are united by one thought: to deliver the highest quality, compassionate care while working to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. The center is among the top-ranked national cancer programs, and #1 in Michigan according to U.S. News & World Report. Our multidisciplinary clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists for personalized treatment plans, part of the ideal patient care experience. Patients also benefit through access to promising new cancer therapies.