Your advice for those facing a cancer diagnosis

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Here are some facts about breast cancer.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Our readers share their best advice for those facing cancer. 


Jan Hillman of New Carlisle
Jan Hillman of New Carlisle

Name: Jan Hillman

Hometown: New Carlisle, Ohio

Background on my journey:

  • First diagnosed in 1986 at age 34. I found the lump in a self-breast exam.
  • Second diagnosed in 1997 at age 45.
  • I refuse to be called a survivor. Instead, I refer to myself as a thriver.
  • I was Ms. January in a Pink Warrior calendar in 2012 that raised funds for breast biopsies in Marquette, Mich.

Best way to help someone facing a cancer diagnosis:

  • First and foremost, listen to them
  • Second, don't share horror stories about yourself or others who have had negative outcomes with their breast cancer journey
  • Provide nonjudgmental, unconditional support and love

How did I stay strong?

  • Focus on all the positives in my life
  • Make plans for the future
  • Have fun and laugh a lot

What helped me through my journey?

  • Accepting love and support from family and friends
  • Eating the right things
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Being an equal opportunity healer by using traditional and integrative medicine

Credit: Chad Baker

Credit: Chad Baker


Name: William Sykes

Hometown: Xenia

Background on my journey: A nine-year survivor of male breast cancer.

Advice: "If the goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to educate the public about breast cancer, men need to be included in that effort. I can tell you that a man experiences the same feelings of hopelessness when the doctor announces this diagnosis just the same as women. Fortunately, mine was caught early and I was referred to the Magee Breast Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. for treatment. ( I lived near there when I was diagnosed). All men and their families need to know that while men get this disease at a far lower rate than women, the results can be devastating without early diagnosis. Any man who has a first-degree relative that has breast cancer needs to be alert to the signs of breast cancer.

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