UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial to Host 18th Annual Breast Cancer Forum Oct. 21

 

(October 2017)

Christine Chester will never forget when she turned 40. The very same year, she found out she had stage 4 breast cancer.

“I thought, ‘I’m 40 and everything is going wrong,’” the mother of a then three-year-old son recalls. “I couldn’t believe it.” 

With a family history of breast cancer, Chester had been vigilant about doing breast self-exams and having regular mammograms. Then one day, she discovered an abnormal discoloration in her right breast. “It wasn’t painful,” she explains. “It just wasn’t normal. It looked like a bruise.”

Eventually, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments at Ingalls Cancer Care, followed by five years of monthly faslodex injections. 

With an active son, a busy career and a master’s degree in the works, Chester didn’t let breast cancer slow her down. She stayed positive throughout; the only blip was when she went for a wig fitting. “I cried when I looked at a picture of myself with long hair,” she recalls.

Today, the energetic music buff is a nine-year breast cancer survivor. Her advice to others: be familiar with your breasts by doing regular self-exams. “You need to understand what your breasts look like, their shape and how they feel so that you’ll know when something’s different,” she explains. 

Chester will share her personal cancer story at the 18th Annual Conquering Breast Cancer Forum Saturday, Oct. 21, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Odyssey Country Club in Tinley Park.

Sponsored by UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial, the Southland Coalition to Conquer Breast Cancer and the Daily Southtown newspaper, the forum is a free educational awareness event that features oncology experts whose topics focus on medical and cultural issues surrounding breast cancer in the African-American community.

Valuable and relevant health information – appropriate for women as young as 16 – is also provided, along with touching stories from breast cancer survivors like Chester. Other highlights include refreshments, a continental breakfast, door-prize drawings, exhibits and vendor displays until 2 p.m.

Guest emcee is Effie Rolfe, author, program director and on-air host of UrbanPraiseRadio.org. Speakers include hematologist/oncologist Danielle Sterrenberg, M.D., and Beryl Armstrong, L.C.P.C., from the Family Christian Health Center. 

To register for this free event, call 708.915.6838 or go to www.Ingalls.org/Forum