Ronda Walker, the Montgomery County Commission vice chairman seconds Monica’s feeling about being grateful that she was diagnosed in the 21st century. Ronda was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer in 2014 and promptly went public with her diagnosis. Walker says that living in today’s society means that people are no longer afraid to say the word “breast,” and thus are talking more. Women are able to leverage support and advice from other people who have had similar experiences. This makes coping with breast cancer diagnoses a little bit easier for both families and patients.
Looking back, it is hard to imagine how much more difficult a breast cancer diagnosis must have been for women in Charlene’s generation. The lack of information, communication, resources, and support, coupled with the stigma must have made it nearly impossible to cope with. Monica emphasizes the importance of communication by saying how it starts dialogue and allows people to share experiences and learn from each other. “I don't think you can ever over-communicate. It saves lives. Increased communication also allows people to truly understand the impact in their community and allows them to respond,” she says. For people who do not want to talk about these experiences in groups or in person, there are almost an unlimited amount of social networks online the provide a platform for these conversations to take place. While still frightening, a breast cancer diagnosis today is a bit less ominous and isolating as it was in the 20th century.