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Candid Conversations: Diahann Carroll Talks About Breast Cancer Awareness

Spectrum Health

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Spectrum Health held its fourth annual “Candid Conversations”, with special guest speaker, legendary actress and Tony Award winner, Diahann Carroll.  Carroll is a breast cancer survivor. She was also friends, with first lady, Betty Ford, who was instrumental in getting the nation to address breast cancer issues and awareness. The Betty Ford Breast Care Services is a sponsor of this event. 

“Don’t ever ignore anything that is wrong with your body, you have all that power, if you take care of it in the beginning.”

That’s Diahann Carroll.  And the power she speaks of is early detection.  At 81 years of age, the Tony Award winner, and first African American woman to star in her own TV series, held a genuine and honest conversation about breast cancer and breast cancer awareness. Diahann Carroll was the keynote speakr to a sold-out crowd at the fourth annual “Candid Conversations”, sponsored by Spectrum Health and Betty Ford Breast Care Services.  Carroll was diagnosed with a small, non-invasive tumor 17 years ago through a routine mammogram.  She says early detection along with talking with those you love is key.

“It’s the most wonderful thing that has happened to us. Those of us that have to go through chemotherapy and radiation  and this idea of going once a year, to sit there and find out what is wrong, and bring the family members together, that need to know.  It's a major change for all."

Carroll along with doctors, patients and fellow survivors encouraged those in attendance about the importance of regular screening for breast cancer.  And Susan Ford Bales delivered a special video presentation honoring the legacy of her mother, Betty Ford, who so boldly led the nation to address breast cancer.

Doctors at the event shared that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.  They’re hope is that those who attend Candid Conversations will leave empowered to take charge of their breast health.