TBCTH 2018

Breast cancer is still the second leading killer of women in the United States. About 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. None of us have to look far to see a woman who has endured a breast cancer diagnosis.

When dealing with cancer, the worst thing you can do when you notice something different in your body is to not do anything about it. Early detection will make a big difference in the outcome when treating cancer.

Veronica Favela.- “I noticed something that wasn’t right,” said Veronica Favela, who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in May of 2018. “It was a regular day, getting off the shower… lotion, and then went by the area and said mmm.. That’s weird. A few months later at work, something hit me, and it hit that spot. That’s when it began to feel a little bit discomfort and yet I waited and figured it will pass and it would just go away. Even then it still took me a while to and get it checked, roughly give or take I would say a year. When I go to get it checked, it was in stage 4 and it has metastasized. 

Doctor Karinn Chambers, Director of University Breast Care Center in Texas Tech Health sciences Center talks about the importance of early detection and early treatment. “In the course of life they are too busy taking care of others than to take care of themselves but also I feel like there is strong sense of denial that can happen or take place when a women is facing these changes. The earlier we can catch a presentation of breast cancer the better, the more time it precedes obviously the more advance stages it can get which would require the need for more extensive surgeries, more expensive medical treatments, more extensive radiation.”

Breast cancer is a costly illness, it can take a toll on your health. It can take a toll on your emotions. It can take a toll on your time, your relationships and your wallet. There will be unforeseen and unexpected charges, and even the best health insurance won’t cover all your cost.

“That’s the first thing you think how I am going to pay this?” says Marissa Tafoya, Breast Cancer Patient. “Starting from the surgery, you don’t have savings you don’t expect this is going to happen to you. Just for the first surgery you have to come up with 2,000 dollars, how am I going to come up with 2,000 then? And then after that you have to do your chamoes and if you haven’t paid your deductible like mine and yes they do you a plan but your bills built up. It’s me and my husband and he lost his job taking care of me taking me to doctors so it’s tough. “

Due to improved care, new protocols, and early detection, the survivor rate has increased. Even up to stage 2 early stage 3 breast cancer is over 75% - 80% survival rate in five years. Texas Tech el Paso, associated with UMC is the only one stop shop breast cancer service area that we have in el Paso, meaning that you have dedicated surgical oncologists, you have dedicated radiation oncologists, dedicated radiologists, pathologists who specializes in beast and breast related diseases, who focuses specifically in the treatment of breast cancer. “Basically that means that we have all the resources we need to treat breast cancer here at our fingertips and we all work together very often and very closely including breast cancer conferences twice a month.” Said Doctor Chambers.

With your support, university medical center foundation will help in covering co-pays, transportation, medications so breast cancer patients can continue with their treatment and they don’t have to choose between medicine and groceries for their family.

Esperanza Iturralde is a breast cancer survivor, she still remembers dearly how University Medical Center saved her life. “I have received a lot of support at UMC… and right now when I don’t have money to pay for my infusions, Mary Licon helps me, that’s why when they told me about this event I wanted to help in any way I can, with my testimonial and participating in this event. I want everyone to see that with their support we are moving forward so please continue to support.”


Taking Breast Cancer to Heart 2018