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Virginia woman was 'determined to beat' breast cancer: 'You have to stay positive'

CDC: Breast cancer deadlier in African American women
Posted at 1:22 AM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 01:22:34-04

NORFOLK, Va. -- Sunday, June 6 is National Cancer Survivor’s Day, a day that pays homage to those who have beaten any kind of diagnosed cancer.

The day marks its 34th year in 2021, according to the non-profit organization with the same name.

Veronica Styron, a cancer survivor from Portsmouth, is one of those survivors who shared her story with WTKR. She explained she had ductal carcinoma, a form of breast cancer where abnormal cells are present inside milk ducts in the breast.

She told us of the trauma she experienced and endured when she was diagnosed 13 years ago.

"It was something I was determined to beat one way or the other. Both my parents died of cancer,” Styron said.

She continued her treatment and eventually beat her cancer not once, but twice. The second time came after treatment towards the end of 2020.

She underwent mammograms, mastectomies and a lumpectomy.

“If you are giving up and saying 'There's just no hope, I’ve got this cancer, whatever happens to me to me now on is downhill.' Don't go on that route," Styron urged. "You have to stay positive."

bon secours cancer institute.jpg
Bon Secours Cancer Institute

The World Health Organization projects that by 2030, cancer will kill roughly 13 million people. It also stated most cancer deaths are preventable.

Dr. Stephanie Repole, a breast cancer surgeon with from Bon Secours, said she has seen all the highs and lows of cancer recovery.

"It's wonderful to go through that process with them, from the beginning where you think your world is closing in to, 'Oh, wow, I can do this and have done this,' and passing it forward and sharing your experience," Repole said.

Repole has not only shared breast cancer diagnoses with her patients but has also guided them through the process.

She said most cancer patients do survive. She also urged anyone with any cancer to follow up on doctor's visits, and follow treatment or health regiments recommended by your doctor.

"I think it's important that we congratulate and support and do all of those things for those who are going through it, and recognize we can survive, we will move beyond this and do very well in the long term," Repole said.