"I want to give my support," she is quoted as saying. "This year, my mom got a malignant cyst. The whole family is affected. It drove me to give my love and support to other women who are also affected by it."
Rhian reveals her mom's cancer was detected early, during the first stage of the disease. The cyst was removed, and Rhian's mom now enjoys good health, but since there's a risk that the cancer may recur, she has regular check-ups and exams to monitor her condition.
While her family is stronger now, Rhian admits they were depressed when they first found out about their mom's predicament. "Nung nalaman ko, hindi namin sinabi sa isa't isa kasi gusto ng mommy ko na siya ang magsabi. (When I found out, we didn't tell each other because my mom wanted to tell us about [the cancer] herself.) We all had to deal with it alone. Dun kami nahirapan. (That was what was hard for us.) But what made it easy is when you all deal with it together."
The important thing people should remember, she adds, is for loved ones not to look at breast cancer as a curse. "Year 2011 na, at ang dami na nating magagawa with science and all the medical technology. Hindi siya isang bagay na dapat mawalan ng hope ang tao. (It's 2011, and there are so many advances in science and medical technology. [Breast cancer] isn't something that should make people lose hope.)"
Rhian advises other women, "The key in being able to fight breast cancer ay ma-detect nang maaga, yung Stage 1 pa. Wag nating hayaan na may iba na tayong nararamdaman tapos saka lang makikipagkita sa doctor. (Let's not wait until we're experiencing more problems before we see a doctor.)"
As part of the campaign, Rhian and other breast cancer advocates are supporting the Avon Race to 125,000 Kisses, which will be held at the SM Mall of Asia grounds on October 2. Funds raised will go to the Philippine General Hospital Breast Care Center and different hospitals in the provinces.
Like Rhian, has one of your family members been diagnosed with cancer? Learn more about the disease and how you can help them through it with these tips:
- What Every Woman Should Know about Breast Cancer
- 10 Tips for Helping a Loved One Diagnosed with Cancer
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You can also check out this breast cancer advocate's inspiring story on FN:
Want to read more articles about cancer? Check these out:
- What Every Woman Should Know about Ovarian Cancer
- Cervical Cancer Tally Still High in the Philippines
- Hot GirlTalk Topic: What Every Woman Should Know about Cervical Cancer
- What Every Woman Should Know about Heart Disease, Diabetes, Osteoporosis, and 4 Other Health Concerns
(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)
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