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Breast cancer survivor gives back to others battling the disease

Posted at 6:32 PM, Oct 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-18 21:54:13-04

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. This weekend is Tucson's Making Strides walk where thousands of people will gather to raise money for a cure. One local survivor will be there to share her story with others.

At just 40 years old, Peggy Anzano heard the words "you have breast cancer". She was diagnosed with aggressive Stage 3 breast cancer.

"I have no history of breast cancer in my family, no history of cancer. It was quite a shock," said Anzano.
With a great support system, Anzano was ready to fight. At the time, the fight included chemo, radiation and stem cell transplant.

" During the stem cell, I participated in a clinical trial for an immunotherapy drug which in 1997 was way advanced. Now immunotherapy is a major treatment of cancer," said Anzano.  

Immunotherapy is less invasive than chemo. Medicines work by helping your immune system work harder to fight cancer cells. Along the way, Anzano says ACS was very helpful, especially with their Reach to Recovery Program.

"I had them refer me to resources I needed, emotionally and logistically. They've been on the journey with me all along," said Anzano.

Today, Anzano gives back as well as a volunteer for ACS.  

"I have walked people through breast cancer. I think the only thing I find that's been gratifying is being able to give back," said Anzano.  

And while Anzano is cancer free., she says breast cancer changed her life forever.

"I think it made me a better person. I got tired of people asking me how I'm doing. It made me more interested in what other people are doing," Anzano added.