Breast Cancer Survivor Encourages Awareness of Changes in Body
When Chantal Prinsloo discovered a lump in October 2010, she paid little attention to it, hoping it would go away. November came and went, but when summer arrived she paid more attention to what her body looked like and she noticed that the lump was still there in December. In fact, it had grown.
After having it checked by specialists, she learned in February 2011 at the age of 37, that she was joining the ranks of celebrities such as Kylie Minogue, Christina Applegate, Anastasia and Sheryl Crow – and not in a good way – she had breast cancer. (See Chantal’s journey in photo gallery above).
Cancer cells were removed from her body, and six chemotherapy sessions and a six-week period of radiation followed.
Most chemotherapeutic drugs impair cell division by damaging cells, and are therefore termed cytotoxic. Like most toxins, chemotherapy is brutal to the body, and Chantal experienced nausea, exhaustion, irritability and emotional turmoil during the treatment. She had her last radiation treatment on 20 October 2011 and is grateful that she’s currently in remission.
Cancer has changed Chantal’s life in more than one way. She is more in touch with her emotional side, and says that she thinks about life differently and hence makes decisions differently. She is currently on hormone treatment to suppress her oestrogen levels, as oestrogen may be implicated in increasing breast cancer risk.
The treatment, which will continue for at least five to seven years, causes extreme fatigue and muscle and joint aches. She can also never have children, as pregnancy is considered high risk because of the type of breast cancer she had.
Despite her ordeal, she is very positive about life in general and her health. Chantal approaches life day by day, as all of us should.
She wants everyone to be aware of changes in their bodies, and she says although the general trend is to wait until 40 before having regular mammograms, one should never consider oneself “too young” to go for check-ups.
If anyone is ever in the same position as her and gets diagnosed with cancer, her advice is to stay positive and not be afraid, to count on your friends and to trust God to carry you to wherever you belong.
Shavathon Raises Awareness of Cancer & Those Affected by Cancer
The purpose of Shavathon is to raise awareness re cancer, how to reduce cancer risk and to show solidarity with those affected by cancer in a fun way. By shaving or spraying your head, you are letting cancer survivors like Chantal know that they are not alone – that you are behind them as they fight cancer. Find out more about Shavathon here…