Staying strong after a cancer disgnosis

7 steps to help you cope with breast cancer:

From Carolyn Dyson:

  1. Understand that a breast cancer diagnosis does not have to be a death sentence.

  2. Know that it is natural to be frightened.

  3. Gather as much information from your doctors as you need to help you make the necessary decisions

  4. Don't be afraid to ask your doctors as many questions as you like

  5. Understand that every breast cancer story is not your personal story--your outcomes could be very different

  6. Make timely decisions regarding treatment-don't delay getting recommended treatments

  7. Allow family and others to give you the support that you need
Early Detection:
  • The majority of women don't die of breast cancer. The reason women are living longer and breast cancer is not a death sentence is through early detection.

  • Statistically this has been improving since 1992 - and that is because of early detection.
About Carolyn Dyson:

Reverend Carolyn Dyson has been the Program Manager for African American Breast Health at California Pacific Medical Center since its inception five years ago. Two years ago the Sister to Sister Breast Health Program was added to assist additional uninsured at risk women with breast health needs.

A trailblazer, in 1976 she became one of the first medical social workers for Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco. In 1978 she entered the SF Municipal Railway as one of the first transit operators.

There she quickly moved through the ranks to become one of the first women transit instructors and Inspectors. In 1984 she became the first Black women to be ordained in the Black Baptist Church in the history of San Francisco. Her life is a tapestry of many experiences.

In 2000, life took a turn when she was diagnosed with breast cancer just months after her daughter was diagnosed. Her own mother died from breast cancer at age 52. Since Reverend Dyson's diagnosis, her life's work had been dedicated to helping women understand the importance of breast cancer early detection and how to live life past the breast cancer diagnosis.

She is Co-Vice Chair of the Friends of Faith Breast Cancer Foundation, Founder and Executive Director of The Over - Flowing Cup Breast Health Organization, member and inspirational leader for The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, San Francisco Chapter and the San Francisco Business and Professional Women INC.

Her work with breast cancer survivors, access to health care for people from vulnerable populations and health disparities has been recognized on local, state and national levels.

She is a graduate of San Francisco State University with degrees in Social Work, Health Education and Gerontology. Reverend Dyson resides in Vallejo, California.

About Dr. Lisa Bailey:

Dr. Lisa Bailey has been in practice In the East Bay since 1982, and specializes In the care of patients with breast cancer and other breast health Issues. She completed her degree In Mathematics at Northwestern University in 1971, and went on to her MD degree at Northwestern University Medical School in 1975.

She completed her General Surgery residency at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University Medical School, and her Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Evanston Hospital, In 1981.

Dr. Bailey is past president and member of the Board of Directors of the California Division of the American Cancer Society, and currently chairs their Breast Cancer Taskforce. She is a member of the Commission of Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, and also a Governor of the American College of Surgeons.

She is a Co-Founder and the Medical Director of the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center, and a Co-Director of the Breast Cancer Program at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. She chairs the weekly Breast Cancer Tumor Board at that institution, and has instituted several clinical programs and the quality assurance program at the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center.

She is a Fellow In the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association, the east bay Surgical Society, San Francisco Surgical Society, the American Society of Breast Surgeons, American Society of Breast Diseases, and the society of surgical Oncology.

For more information, visit

The Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center:
  • A comprehensive breast center - incorporating excellent breast imaging along with clinical programs - One of the first of its kind in the Bay Area.

  • Committed to caring for women in a nurturing and supportive environment that ensures the highest quality care and experience.

  • All radiologists are on site - dedicated breast imagers - this improves accuracy of reading.

  • All digital mammography - ensures accuracy.

  • A unique Nurse Navigator Program (Korean, Chinese, Spanish and English) to help women navigate through screening, possible detection, follow up physician appointments - all to ensure women understand what is being said and are able to ask their questions.

  • For example: One Saturday a month is dedicated to Korean speaking women for screening.

  • Dedicated language support groups - unique to the center.

  • Linked up with California state's cancer plan to develop survivorship programs for women. Ensure that after a diagnosis, there is follow-up with patients and a plan for how that patient can optimize staying healthy.
Recommendations on regular mammograms and screening:
  • Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center adheres to the recommendations of the American Cancer Society: Annual screening mammograms for women beginning at age 40 and continuing for as long as the woman is healthy, unless they are in a high risk category and recommended to start screening at an earlier age.

  • There is no 'mandate' about delaying mammograms. Women are concerned they cannot get early and regular mammograms: That's simply not true.

  • Organizations and health care providers were appalled upon hearing of these new recommendations are have spoken out against them.
Event Information:

"An Evening with Condoleezza Rice"
Monday, March 29 at the Palace of Fine Arts In San Francisco
For more information, go to

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