Two young women in their 30s with terminal breast cancer rare have started a podcast to urge others to do self-exams.
Andy Sealy, 39, from South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in 2017 after tumors were found in her breasts, hip and spine.
Krysten Gentile, 37, from Garnet Valley, was originally diagnosed with stage III breast cancer in May 2017, but it was upgraded to stage IV after doctors found the cancer in her spine.
The two women met through mutual friends and, after learning of their similar health struggles, they decided they wanted to help other women, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Their new podcast, Making the Breast of It, was launched last month and they say they hope it inspires other women to be vigilant about their health and check for the warning signs of breast cancer before it’s too late.
Andy Sealy, 39 (right), and Krysten Gentile, 37 (left), from Pennsylvania, were both diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer and have launched a podcast called Making the Breast of It
The show, which premiered last month, is meant to encourage others to do self-exams and inspire women who also have cancer. Pictured: Sealy, left, and Gentile
Sealy first noticed a lump in her breast during a self-exam in January 2017, but assumed it was a problem with her implants.
After she found another lump, she decided to make a doctor’s appointment and was diagnosed with breast cancer that same month.
Breast cancer is currently the number one killer of women between the ages of 20 and 59 in the US.
One out of every eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.
More than 268,000 cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2019 and more than 41,700 people are predicted to die of the disease.
Only about two percent of women under-40 are expected to be diagnosed.
Sealy was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2017. She had both breasts removed (pictured, in the hospital), but learned her cancer had progressed to stage IV after tumors were found in her hip and spine
It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, behind lung cancer. Breast cancer does also occur in men but the incidence rate is less than one percent.
The Inquirer reported that Sealy underwent a double mastectomy, a medical procedure in which both breasts are surgically removed.
However, despite this preventive effort, doctors discovered tumors on her right hip and on her spine.
Similarly, Gentile, a mother-of-three, first discovered her lump in May 2017 as she put on her bra to get dressed for work, reported the Inquirer.
Her OBGYN assumed it was just a clogged milk duct from breastfeeding her seven-month-old son but recommended she get checked out.
She was referred to a surgeon who performed a biopsy and soon after diagnosed her with stage III breast cancer.
Pregnant with her third child at the time, Gentile underwent a lumpectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the lump of cancerous tissue from her breast, and chemotherapy.
After she gave birth, she underwent 36 rounds of radiation, according to the Inquirer.
Last summer, after experiencing back pain, Gentile’s doctors discovered that the cancer had spread to her spine, meaning her cancer was now stage IV.
Gentile was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer while she was pregnant with her third child in May 2017 and underwent a lumpectomy. Pictured: Gentile, second from the right, with her husband and three children
She felt pain in her back in 2018 and went to the doctor, who told her the cancer was now stage IV after spreading to her spine. Pictured: Gentile after a session of radiation
‘The most common areas that [cancer] spreads to after it goes to your lymph nodes are bones, brains, liver, and lung,’ Sealy told the newspaper.
‘[Doctors] keeping an eye on something on a lung for [Gentile] and a liver for me. I had a spot on my sternum. It could be anything.’
The two women say they met through friends and immediately felt a connection and similarities in their health journeys.
They decided to start a podcast, which they aptly named Making the Breast of It, to encourage other women to get self-exams and to motivate others undergoing similar health struggles.
The show launched on September 29 and releases new episodes every Wednesday.
‘We want to use the platform to tell people that life is short,’ Gentile told the Inquirer.
‘Live your life the way you want to live it. Stop caring about what other people think. Be you. I was worried about what other people thought. That’s out the window.’