BCF Stories - Part I: Early Detection Matters
Tracy Hoo - Inspirational Leader
In our 4-part series to celebrate the women who triumphed breast cancer with early detection, we speak to four of these inspirational heroines on their journey to find strength and overcome the odds with positivity in life.
Meet Tracy Hoo, a brave survivor at the age of 32.
Tracy’s aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer and it struck her to go for a health check-up. She was detected with the condition at an early age of 29. Having undergone mastectomy with reconstruction, today, she raises awareness of the importance of early detection and provides support to other young women.
Today, she is a leader at the Young Women’s Support group and an active volunteer at BCF.
1. What do you do as a leader of the Young Women’s Support group and as an active volunteer for BCF?
The Young Women’s support group targets young breast cancer survivors under the age of 45. Through this group, women find emotional strength by asking questions, sharing their experience and information to cope with their diagnosis.
I share my cancer journey and hope to raise awareness on the importance of early detection to those below 45 years old. At BCF, we discuss various issues - cancer treatments, side effects and how it impacts our family, career and lifestyle. This helps to clear our doubts and gives us strength in our own battles.
2. What inspired you to volunteer at BCF?
After my cancer battle, I wanted to raise awareness among young women and BCF is where I can reach out to them. I feel really grateful to have the support of my loved ones throughout this tough period, especially when I’m experiencing it at an early age of 29. Hence, I want to contribute back to society and help other young women.
3.At what stage were you diagnosed? What kind of surgery did you undergo?
I was diagnosed with stage 2-3 breast cancer at the age of 29, with a 4cm tumour which was spreading to my lymph nodes. I did chemotherapy to reduce the tumour size and also underwent mastectomy as well as reconstruction of the breast on the same day with body tissues and belly fats. This is followed by targeted radiation and hormonal therapy. I am currently on 3rd year of my medication.
4. How did you cope with it? What kind of support is important to you through your journey?
Initially, I was overwhelmed as I did not exhibit the 5 high risk cancer factors. But, being an independent and strong person, I stay positive and keep myself preoccupied. I realise I should fight this cancer as there are many less fortunate people around. I attend different workshops and classes, learn different skill sets that I never have a chance or time to.
5. What advice would you give to other young women after your experience?
Don’t be afraid and have the courage to face it. Remember to check early and don’t be complacent. If not for my aunt’s diagnosis, I won’t be able to find out so early. You do not necessarily need to fall under the 5 risk factors to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Start your health check-ups at a young age as breast cancer does not happen to older women only.
6. How did your lifestyle change after your cancer journey?
My diagnosis changed my perspectives on life. I am more appreciative of people around and try not to complain too much as there are others who are less fortunate. I exercise more such as doing brisk walks and circuit training. I am considering to do yoga and joining the BCF’s dragon boat team.
7. What are your plans for the future after your cancer journey? Share with us your life after triumphing the cancer battle.
I am now an advocate in raising awareness for breast cancer among young women with the BCF. Be mindful and watch your diet, be responsible for your own health, live well for yourself and your loved ones.
In support of BCF’s – Early Detection, Save Lives, Save Breasts campaign, this year, PAZZION has designed an exclusive Pink Stardust Foldable Flats to convey the message in conducting regular breast health checks.
From 1 – 31st October 2019, 30% of the nett sales proceeds from the sale of the exclusive designed foldable flats will be donated to BCF.
In Support of Breast Cancer Foundation
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