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The Faces of Breast Cancer Project

10/16/2015 10:00AM | 6298 views

If you live with breast cancer, love someone with breast cancer or worry about your risk for breast cancer, you are part of a global community of women and men whose lives have been touched by the disease. The New York Times asked its readers to share insights from their experiences with breast cancer. 

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“Without the experience of cancer, I might not have taken the time to be an ice climber, risked being a sculptor or upended my life to move closer to my granddaughter,” writes Amy, of Baltimore, one of hundreds of women and men around the world who tell their stories on the Faces of Breast Cancer project — The New York Times’s newly redesigned and enhanced interactive feature for those whose lives have been touched by the disease.

Readers can now search a database of breast cancer stories to find people like themselves — men and women with similar diagnoses, challenges or family situations — and learn from their experiences. Readers can also submit their own stories sharing photos, memories, setbacks and victories from their breast cancer journey. And now everyone can join the conversation on subjects like body image, family, career — the whole host of things that change after a cancer diagnosis.

Faces of Breast Cancer aims to bring together the community of people behind the statistics, people who have learned, lost and loved after a life-changing diagnosis. 

People like Judet D. from Las Vegas, Nevada:

"I was 35 years old when a breast cancer diagnosis sucker-punched me. I had been aware of the lump for several months but didn't get it checked out right away because I was young, healthy, and I felt invincible. My husband urged me to talk to the doctor about it, so I did. Two days after the biopsy, I got the call that changed my life. Learning that I had breast cancer unraveled my beliefs about health and well-being, and since then I've found it difficult to trust my body. 

At first I obsessed over finding the cause of my cancer. Then I obsessed about it returning. I feared that any little symptom was a sign of metastasis. Little by little I'm learning not to dwell on those things because what matters most is how I spend my time now. 

Thanks to breast cancer, I now live with purpose, and I love every second of my life. I have two young children and a wonderful extended family who have given me the strength to stick to my treatment plan. Having cancer has allowed me to see the inner beauty in all the people around me. Each person has provided endless support and love in their own manner. I'm not sure I would have ever experienced this if it wasn't for breast cancer. I am torn because I wish I didn't have to deal with breast cancer, but at the same time I am grateful for the perspective it has given me."

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