Breast Cancer Awareness: advice from a survivor


GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – As part of Breast Cancer Awareness month we have brought you the latest advice on breast cancer prevention and treatments from local experts. We’ve talked about how to look for breast cancer, how to treat it, and the process behind that treatment. Now let’s talk about what experts and survivors say you can do to stay healthy after becoming cancer-free.

“Breast cancer awareness month is a bit of a burden,” said breast cancer survivor Fitz Koehler, “because it reminds me that I am never going to be able to forget about this. Every October someone is going to remind me that I had breast cancer.”

For survivors, the month of October is one filled with emotions.

“On the bright side, it reminds me of all of the people who have poured their hearts and their money and their brains for research into finding a cure. Thirty years ago … if I found this bump where I found it … I may not have made it.”

Fitness personality and UF graduate Fitz Koehler was diagnosed with breast cancer seven weeks after getting results back from a clean mammogram. After a 16-month battle, she’s inspired to share her story and remind others how important it is to be aware of the signs of breast cancer, even after you think you’re in the clear.

“With fitness … with health … with disease … you have to be proactive. You are responsible for what you put in your mouth, the way you exercise, the way you sleep. Doctors do not creep in your bed at night looking for problems … so you have to discover them yourself or at least go to a doctor and let them examine you.”

Koehler said the two things men and women look for during their battle are ‘hope’ and ‘information.’ She wrote a book just for that, called My Noisy Cancer Comeback.

Experts say if you have fought your battle with breast cancer, follow up appointments and constant communication with your doctors is key. American Cancer Society advises exercise, a healthy diet, and limiting alcohol intake are all factors that could prevent cancer from returning or progressing.

For more coverage from our Breast Cancer Awareness series and coverage, click here.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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