When she went through it, she didn't know anyone else who had breast cancer. That changed after Mrs. Anderson at University Hospital Breast Health Center and others began getting active in the community, and women who survived breast cancer became more visible and more vocal overall. Now, the experiences and the attitudes of breast cancer survivors are much different.
"Some of it can turn into a positive. Just the whole ordeal, most women take it and turn it into something good by helping other people or sharing their stories," Mrs. Anderson said.
Support groups such as Pink Magnolias help them connect and turn things around.
"Women, once they go through it, they're like, 'By God, I'm going to help somebody else. Or I'm going to make a difference in the community or in perceptions, or I'm going to raise money for breast cancer,' " Mrs. Anderson said.
Each woman is different, but age, family and certainly attitude seem to shape how a breast cancer survivor sees herself and her future. Meet four women who know what it is like to face breast cancer and survive.