Name: Hannah Hancock
Occupation: Communications Assistant for a U.S. Congressman
Age when diagnosed with breast cancer: 22
Breast cancer type: Triple positive Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Breast cancer stage: Stage 1
Treatment: Fertility preservation, 6 rounds of chemotherapy, double mastectomy
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that has nothing to do with cancer:
I can do a flip on a wake-board.
What’s your go-to pick-me-up song?
Electric by Alina Baraz.
How did you discover your breast cancer?
This journey first started when I felt a lump in my right breast in the shower. It was around November, I had just gotten my first job out of college, I was living with my best friends, and making all new friends and amazing experiences in my new home of Washington, DC. As my mom had breast cancer twice, at 44 and 51, I knew the importance of acting quick. This lump I felt had definitely not been there before. I had an appointment with my gynecologist that week so I asked her to check it. She advised me to get an ultrasound, which led to a biopsy where I found out.
What’s the craziest thing someone said to you after being diagnosed with breast cancer?
People always tell me that their family members died from it but I look and act so strong and healthy so they know I’ll make it.
Who has been your biggest source of support throughout your experience with cancer?
I am so grateful to my family for taking care of all the treatments and for the American Cancer Society for conducting the research to make this possible and for offering so many tools to patients. My family, friends, and work family have been extremely positive lights motivating me to continue improving throughout this whole process.
What has been the most difficult part of being a young woman with breast cancer?
The most difficult for me has been what I have had to miss out on – social activities when sick, workouts near procedures, and having to take time off of work to go to doctors appointments when I am so passionate about the work I do. It totally sucks to have to miss little things like going to a Soul Cycle class with my friends because my doctor says I can’t workout during fertility treatment as that can affect the process. But these are extremely minor sacrifices I am willing to make to get healthy as soon as possible and to be rid of this cancer.
What’s something unexpected you learned about yourself as a result of having breast cancer?
The new will to cherish life, surround myself with positive people, and not hang out with people who don’t bring positivity or good energy.
In one sentence, what words of wisdom would you pass on to another young woman who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer?
Be happy, have something to live for, have HUGE goals to strive towards.
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