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October is one of my favorite times of the year. I watch the leaves turn the most beautiful colors of red, yellow, and orange. The Montauk daisies are in full bloom, as are the colorful Mums that line my front walk.

But it also reminds me that October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month: A time to think about our health and taking care of our bodies. Every year when I go for my annual mammogram, I always feel a bit nervous. I think to myself, How many other women do just what I am doing and how many come away with the reality that they have been told they have breast cancer? When I get my mammogram and sonogram I hold my breath until they say I’m good to go for another year.

I am always reminded of the time when I was a small child and a friend of my mother’s came to visit. I couldn’t take my eyes off one of her arms. It was twice the size of the other arm and looked very scary. She had breast cancer. A few months later she passed away. That was about 60 years ago. We have made such wonderful progress, thanks to the many dedicated men and women who have been studying and researching cures for this deadly disease.

Across the country, especially this month, there are fundraisers to help with research and support groups for those who need to talk about your experience with this disease. Last weekend my daughter Kim and granddaughter Samantha participated in a walk for Breast Cancer at Jones Beach on Long Island. They’re pictured here.

It is suggested that 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. However, the breast cancer incidence rate began to decrease around 2000. An aggressive research study (Women’s Health Initiative) published in 2002, showed that the use of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in fact increased the risk of breast cancer in women. That’s the reason I chose to go off of all hormones after spending 10 years taking HRT.

If I can make even a little difference in helping women feel better, physically, sexually, and mentally, during this difficult time, I am accomplishing my mission. I am fortunate to be working with two amazing doctors, Dr. Miriam Greene and Dr. Leo Galland, who have the same vision as I do.

My little secret: Live life to the fullest, don’t forget to get a yearly mammogram and gynecologist visit. And for those discomforts due to chemotherapy and/or menopause, try a more natural solution; that’s the secret of Vaginal Renewal Complex.

We are WOMEN HELPING WOMEN to connect with each other and have our voices heard.

Author: Olga Cohen

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