2-time cancer survivor aims to educate others about breast health

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – After breast cancer struck her family, then hit her, one local survivor is making it her mission to educate others about early detection.

Carolyn Stanley’s sister, Deborah, was only 25 when she lost her battle to the disease.

“This is our family, and this was the last time we all were together,” she said, pointing to a scrapbook blanket. “My youngest sister died from breast cancer, and she was very young.”

In 1995, life changed again for the Ohio math teacher. Pain under her left arm was diagnosed as cancer in her lymph nodes.

“It was scary because I had never had anything cut off of my body,” Stanley said.

Any fear she had fueled her mission to help students learn about what she’d experienced first hand.

“I taught them to do it by workshops and things,” Stanley explained. “And I would tell the kids who want to stay after school, and I will tell you about cancer.”

Then in 2018, while living in Savannah, Stanley lost her left breast to cancer.

Despite the challenges she’s faced, you can expect encouragement and support from the survivor.

“We need to keep watching how we take care of ourselves, and knowing when something is hurting that you go to a doctor and find out,” Stanley said.

Early detection is the message she shares with her church family and Top Ladies of Distinction, an organization she cherishes.

“You have to keep your breast clean, your underarm clean. If you feel something even underneath it and it’s hurting or itching and something doesn’t change…you got mommy, you got daddy, you got sisters, all those folks,” she said, “and y’all know you can call me.”

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