Breast cancer awareness spreads - WNCT

Breast cancer awareness spreads

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Breast cancer kills about 40-thousand American women every year and each October we honor their struggle with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

From softball to pink pumpkins, everyone's getting behind breast cancer awareness. For Wanda Gurkins, it's a powerful reminder that she beat the disease.

For three years Gurkins has been cancer free. She was diagnosed on August 19th 2010.

"They came in and explained to me that I had cancer. I felt like I had a death sentence. I couldn't talk to people. I actually pulled into myself. I spent a lot of time alone in my room. So very afraid." Gurkins said.

The emotional distress caused sleepless nights for Gurkins. Her only resolve was deciding to have a double mastectomy performed.

“I didn't want to live with the fear. I felt like if one tried to get me the other would try to get me later.”

If it wasn't for the information available to her, Gurkins says she wouldn't have known about it. A bill presented before Congress is trying to get out more information. It's called the “Breast Cancer Patient Act of 2013”.

Celebrities like Jewel and Angelina Jolie already support it. Health department officials say informing people; especially minorities can be very empowering.

 “It feels like that the ball is in their court, that they can make that decision and if they know what's available and how they can manage it, it's a whole lot easier to make decisions.” Brittany Kinder said.

“Regardless of your race, whoever you are. We need to make sure that women are aware.” Gurkins said. 

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