In 2018, Clara Cárdenas began to feel strong pains in her lower belly and thought they were signs of menopause. "But the pain was getting stronger and I had to go to the emergency room," he recalled.

After several examinations and visits to specialists, the diagnosis was ovarian cancer.

"When you hear cancer, the first thing you think is" you are going to die "and I felt that if I had to leave, I had not been completely happy," said the 53-year-old Colombian whose family has no history of this disease.

Ovarian cancer is known as "silent" since it is usually detected when it is in an advanced stage.

Immediately, Clara received medical attention and more than twenty sessions of chemotherapy. Remember that the process was difficult but she refused to give up because she thought about her husband and two daughters.

"Your feet are numb, you get panic attacks, the pain is huge, your veins start to weaken," he said.

After several months of treatment, Clara managed to overcome the disease and is now in the remission stage.

Clara Cárdenas is a survivor of ovarian cancer. (Nancy Cerón)

Face cancer a second time

Claudia Antonio, 48, said she was diagnosed with kidney cancer six years ago and was detected when she was already in stage four.

She confessed that she felt disconcerted since this type of cancer is not common in women, much less when they are under 50 years old. Without waiting any longer, he decided to remove his kidney to end the problem.

"I was very positive and told the doctor to take it away immediately," said the woman of Guatemalan origin.

Thus several years passed and the battle that Claudia believed she had won returned with greater force. "They detected bone cancer in February of this year," he said.

Bone cancer is uncommon in adults and occurs when cells begin to grow out of control and spread to other parts of the body, explains the American Cancer Society.

Although this second relapse has tried to face it with courage and positivism, as the first time, he confesses that it has not been easy.

He is taking chemotherapy with radiation and immunotherapy, a treatment that stimulates natural defenses through substances produced by the body or manufactured in a laboratory to improve or restore immune system function.

However, Claudia acknowledges that the medication is causing serious side effects.

“It has changed my way of being. I was very happy, very active and now I feel angry, I start to cry, everything irritates me, ”he said. "Everyone tells you that you have to fight but they don't know how I really feel this."

Until recently, Claudia worked full time as a paralegal but the disease has been so difficult that her work schedule has been reduced to one or two days a week.

“I can't concentrate as before and I can't make plans because I don't know how I will feel that day… I feel that the illness has also affected my marriage. My husband's support is increasingly distant, ”she says.

The women received a makeover to have a photo session modeling hats. (Nancy Cerón)

Know the types of cancer

In 2018, 18 million cases of cancer were detected worldwide. Of these, 9.5 million were diagnosed to men and 8.5 million to women, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund.

It is estimated that one of the most common types of cancer is breast cancer, said AltaMed's doctor, Zainab Saadi.

"This is followed by lung cancer which is considered 50% more lethal than breast cancer but the most curable with simple methods, such as quitting smoking," he added.

Kidney cancer is among the least common types of cancer where approximately 11 out of every 100,000 people can get it.

The doctor said that the best way to prevent disease or face cancer in time is to talk to your doctor.

"In many cases people feel good until they are diagnosed," Saadi explained. "It is much easier to get tested on time than to face the disease."

To be informed!

Gabriela Estrada, businesswoman and owner of the Megavi hat company, said that a few days ago she came up with a photo session with women who face or have overcome cancer to raise awareness about the disease.

Although there is no history of cancer in his family, he indicates that he has two friends who have faced and / or overcome the disease.

“We got five women and I told them,‘ Get all pink for the photos ’and there Claudia clarified that not everything (referring to) cancer is pink,” Estrada discovered.

"She said:‘ Rosita is for breast cancer and there are many (other) types. "

The businesswoman said that at that time, she understood more thoroughly that there is still a lot of misinformation about cancer. At the same time, each person who suffers from it faces it differently.

"For example, Claudia tells me," I don't find the same form of support for my cancer as do those who have breast cancer. " So I understood that cancer really has many colors, ”said Estrada.

Without fear to which some of the women will say they stripped off their wigs. The women were able to know each other and share their stories of strength and courage to face cancer. (Nancy Cerón)

Involved in the change

In an effort to raise awareness about the different types of cancer, Estrada decided to give the five women a makeover with makeup, wigs and photoshoot this week while having breakfast in a very cozy atmosphere.

"There they all met and talked about how they feel according to their illness," he said.

Women hope to continue raising awareness about how important it is to educate people about different types of cancer.

In addition, Estrada said he will start working on the creation of one or two hats focused solely on the issue of cancer and where a percentage of each sale is donated to entities that provide the vital information.

"It's not about hurting women who have cancer but learning to live like them and supporting them … It's educating the community so that they are more compassionate and understanding."

Dr. Saadi recommended that women begin to have a mammogram after 40 years of age and have tests for cancer from the age of 45 and up to approximately 70 years.

Some colors for the most common types of cancer:

Orange: Kidney cancer, leukemia

Yellow: Bone Cancer

White: Lung Cancer

Gray: Brain Cancer

Rosa: Breast Cancer

Green: Liver cancer, lymphoma, gallbladder cancer

Dark Blue: Colon Cancer

Purple variations: pancreatic cancer, testicular cancer, stomach cancer and esophageal cancer.


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