From Surviving to Thriving

Cancer as a Turning Point is a conference happening in Denver on Saturday September 12th. The program is aimed at women and men touched by cancer or any life-altering condition as well as caregivers, family members, or friends of someone touched by cancer or other illness.  One of the presenters is Karolyn A. Gazella who has co-authored The Definitive Guide to Cancer and The Definitive Guide to Thriving After Cancer.

Gazella is a cancer survivor herself with a strong family history of cancer “it really impacted my family when my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was only 35. And then we lost our Mom to advanced pancreatic cancer and then I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 33 and the shocking thing is that those 3 cancers took place in less than 8 months. Since that time, my brother has been diagnosed with cancer, so that means that out of my immediate family of 6 kids and my folks, 50% of us have been diagnosed with cancer.”

Gazella’s family was studied by Creighton university “they found several years ago that we are one of the largest known carriers of the breast ovarian cancer gene in North America.”  Gazella says a cancer diagnosis can be a scary thing but she points to increased survival rates for cancer rates. 20 years after surviving cancer Gazella says she doesn’t let cancer define her, but it is still an issue, particularly if she has any health events “it’s almost as if my cancer happened yesterday, it’s just always a part of you, the key though is to not allow cancer to define you, not allow it to control your life.”

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Along with Dr. Lise Alschuler, Gazella co-authored The Definitive Guide to Thriving After Cancer, a Five-Step Integrative Plan to Reduce the Risk of Recurrence and Build Lifelong Health.

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