|Alicia had been advised by a number of
doctors to have prophylactic mastectomies and reconstruction to reduce the risk factors.
She declined. She believed that since that option would not eliminate the risk altogether
she might as well wait and see if she would beat the odds.
that proved not to be the case. Alicia found a lump in her right breast
in 1997 and a biopsy confirmed that it was cancer. A mammogram indicated there were
significant amounts of calcification throughout her breast and that, coupled with her
family history, left her with no other viable options. She had a modified radical
mastectomy, spent the night in the hospital, returned home the next morning. The
pathology indicated it was invasive ductal carcinoma at stage 2 with two involved
lymph nodes. She was 34 years old at the time of diagnosis. Her children were 8
and 10 years old. One of her children is a daughter and there is concern for her increased
risk of breast cancer.
Alicia received chemotherapy in cycles (Cytoxan
and Adriamycin) in three-week intervals. She also received adjuvant radiation
therapy. She had a second, prophylactic, mastectomy and
Alicia works tirelessly on behalf of breast cancer patients
everywhere. She is a trained volunteer for the American Cancer Society. Alicia also acts
as a Reach to Recovery volunteer. She organizes fund-raising and other community events in
support of cancer generally, and breast cancer specifically. She works with the media to
provide the most inclusive information, resources, and support to those who need it. She
has been the subject of several television and print segments highlighting her
irrepressible personality, her secrets of surviving cancer, and her inspirational story.