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breast cancer awareness Prose hair care

Help Spread Breast Cancer Awareness with Prose and 5 Under 40

October 16, 2020

5 Min read

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What were you doing at the age of twenty-one? Grappling with a breast cancer diagnosis may not have even crossed your mind as a possibilty, but for Nikki Matos that was her reality. Skip ahead to age twenty-three, what events were shaping your life then? For Tyra Francis, a Stage III inflammatory breast cancer diagnosis would change the course of her life forever.

What were you doing at the age of twenty-one? Grappling with a breast cancer diagnosis may not have even crossed your mind as a possibilty, but for Nikki Matos that was her reality. Skip ahead to age twenty-three, what events were shaping your life then? For Tyra Francis, a Stage III inflammatory breast cancer diagnosis would change the course of her life forever.

The extremely young ages of these women may seem shocking, but breast cancer is actually the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women under the age of forty. As unfair and impossible as these young diagnoses may seem, cancer does not discriminate based on age. Thankfully for Nikki, Tyra and hundreds of other young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or have tested positive for the BRCA gene, the non-profit organization 5 Under 40 was there to support them throughout their journey and after.

Jennifer Finkelstein, the founder of 5 Under 40, was diagnosed with breast cancer herself at the age of 32, ” …just weeks before my wedding. I found myself unable to connect with others who shared a similarly shocking diagnosis. I was deluged with literature for older women. In my most desperate hours for what seemed like a never-ending quest…everything came up blank. I quickly discovered, a diagnosis under the age of 40 was a significant emotional and financial challenge. Before I could even grasp the magnitude of what this meant for me, I thought of other young women who lacked education, navigational tools and were financially challenged. Upon learning the following “five” alarming facts, I incorporated the 5 Under 40 Foundation in June 2011 to fill an unmet need.”

Being diagnosed with breast cancer, especially at such a young age when people are typically just kicking off huge a transitional period in their life, can be extremely isolating. So, finding a community of women who are in your age bracket and who know exactly what you’re going through is invaluable. That’s where 5 Under 40 steps in.

 
 
 
 
 
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5 Under 40 is a non-profit dedicated to providing medical, wellness and beauty services to women under the age of forty who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or have a BRCA mutation. The services they provide include 3D mammograms, MRIs, mental health counseling, human hair or synthetic wigs, 3D nipple tattoos and more. They also host in person one-on-one and group meet ups that allow women to connect with one another, learn from each other and create bonds that last a lifetime. They also host events throughout the year, like their annual gala, that celebrate all of the 5 Under 40 women and raise money to fund all of the amazing services that they provide.

When 5 Under 40 came onto Prose’s radar, it was an easy decision to support the non-profit and all of the strong, beautiful women that they uplift day in and day out. We’re excited to announce that today, October 16th, Prose will be donating $5 of every order to 5 Under 40. These donations will go directly towards the services they provide their women.

Update: you helped us raise $15,000 for 5 Under 40! 

As spreading knowledge about breast cancer and its impact on young women everywhere is impertinent to 5 Under 40’s mission, be sure to read through the breast cancer facts and tips that they provide on their website. Knowledge is power and should not be withheld from anyone. Educating yourself could save yours or a loved one’s life.

Jennifer’s Top 10 Tips

  1.  Find the right oncologist. She/he will be a part of your life for a very long time. Where you’re treated and by whom can make all of the difference during treatment and survivorship. If you’re not comfortable with your first choice of physician, seek a second opinion. In the event it’s necessary, get a third one. You will not heal if you’re constantly doubting your physician’s recommendations.
  2.  Align yourself with a therapist as soon as possible with someone who sees women in the throes of a cancer diagnosis.
  3.  Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  4. Speak up. Trust your gut and leave no stone unturned. If something doesn’t feel right at diagnosis and you feel like further action needs to be taken, verbalize your concerns.
  5. Keep reminding yourself everyone’s cancer is different. Cancer Genomics is revolutionizing the way people are being treated for cancer. It’s becoming much more personalized. Stop comparing your cancer to someone with a less favorable outcome.
  6. You will face surgical, treatment and pharmacologic decisions that need to be made fast. The doctor will not most likely tell you what you do. She’ll/He’ll present you with a menu of options. At that time, ask the physician, “What would you do if I was your daughter or sister?”
  7. Try your best to remain positive. Have faith that people are living longer than ever before with a cancer diagnosis. Have faith we will see a future where cancer becomes a manageable and chronic disease, no longer a death sentence.
  8. Do not ever feel that you did something to deserve this. This happened by chance. Bad luck. Everyone has something.
  9.  Remember a strong support network goes a very long way.
  10. Do not ever forget, you’re a person, not a statistic. Not one patient in any study is “You.” Don’t ever let a doctor speak to you as though you are.

 

Photography courtesy of Sarah Merians

 

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