BOSTON, Mass. (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) At the Dana-Farber Institute in Boston, doctors have developed a program specializing in addressing life altering concerns for young women battling breast cancer.
Always busy in the kitchen, baking is Jill Aniskoff's passion. She jokes, but last fall Jill enrolled in culinary school to become a pastry chef. Her dream is to open a bakery and be on the food network like her cooking idol.
But the day after Christmas, Jill found out she had breast cancer. She was just thirty-years old.
"I couldn't understand at my age I was so far along in the process of cancer without ever knowing, without ever having any symptoms. It just doesn't make sense," Jill says.
Dr. Ann Partridge specializes in treating young women with breast cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She says the disease can be harder on them physically and emotionally.
Dr. Partridge tells us, "often young women when compared to older women are more likely to need chemotherapy, they are more likely to need a mastectomy and this can be quite a challenge when they are trying to develop their careers, go to school, have a baby."
To help, Doctor Partridge says young women are offered fertility and reproductive services, genetic testing, psychological counseling and even survivorship classes. They learn how to manage their disease when treatment ends.
Jills says the program has helped. Losing her hair was hard and so was getting chemo and radiation. She'll be on tamoxifen, a cancer fighting drug, for five years, which means she can't get pregnant, at least for now. But she says when the time comes, she's positive things will work out.
"I am going to be able come in here and show her my pregnant belly and say you are the reason, you helped me get here and be able to send her pictures and say I am okay, we have children, they are healthy and happy," Jill tells us.
Click here to go to Young Survival Coalition website there you can learn more about young women battling cancer.