Cancer Survivor Urges Women To Perform Self-Exams
Breast cancer attacks people of all races and cultures, which means every woman needs to know how important early detection is.
In this month's Loving Partners, NewsChannel5's Alicia Booth reported that one survivor is hoping other women will identify with her and take her message to heart.
Ksenija Dejanovic immigrated to Ohio from Croatia in 1994, and it's a move that may very well have saved her life.
She and her husband knew America was a much better place to fight breast cancer than her home in Croatia.
"Although doctors are smart and up to date with the literature, there's always shortage of medication," she said. "And by the time I was in chemotherapy, I thought there (was) no way I could get this there."
Dejanovic's battle was grueling, but she said she was lifted by thousands of prayers from both Ohio and Croatia. She said she feels it's her duty to stress the importance of self-examinations to her friends and to other women.
"And all my female relatives who until now didn't have anybody in the family with breast cancer -- now I'm the first one, the chosen one, I guess," she said.
Dejanovic is a role model for women of other cultures who may not have had access to the breast cancer education women have in the United States.
Her oncologist at University Hospitals, Dr. S. Krishnamurthi, agrees and said it's important to spread the word about early detection.
"Breast cancer is by and large a curable disease," Krishnamurthi said. "Most women with breast cancer are cured and the earlier it's caught, the better the chance for a cure."
Dejanovic has been cancer-free for about two years now. She lives a healthy, simple life with her husband, Mijo, and her 6-year-old son, Ante.
"Life is beautiful and worth living," she said.
Dejanovic said that in Croatia, there isn't even enough paper to print information about breast cancer. She said Americans shouldn't take things like that for granted.
Those who have questions or want a free shower card that shows women how to perform self-exams should call the University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center hot line at (800) 641-2422.
Women are urged to perform self-exams on the 5th of every month.