Beating cancer: Part 1

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss (WTOK) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As part of it, we at Newscenter 11 are not only taking a look at that one type, but instead at how many people are winning their fight with cancer in general.

According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, every 19 seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with breast cancer. Eleven years ago Debbie Young of Meridian, who was the mom of a toddler at the time, was one of those.

"I can remember just crumbling into tears, which I really don't do that very often," says Young." I did a whole lot of saying other words, or focusing on other things or working really hard, or being really busy, and just not paying attention to it."

Newscenter 11 interviewed Debbie three years after she received the diagnosis, and once again now eleven years after she received the news. Thankful to say that she is still cancer free, Young says accepting the fact that she did in fact have breast cancer in 2005 was key.

"Because I felt so much better after I finally just identified and said, 'Okay, I have that. I have that.'"

According to Young, once she owned her diagnosis, she was able to in earnest do something about it.

"Survivors come out of the woodwork when you have a diagnosis, and you let people know," says Young. "Dr. Anderson just said what he really thought, and so that helped to cement my decision."

For Young, she decided to undergo a double mastectomy. Since then, she says she has not had any problems, and just continues to look to the future.

"You know my 3-year-old when I was diagnosed is now a freshman at Meridian High School, and everything is great," says Young. "It's over! It's in the past. It's not a thing that is a part of me any longer. The one thing that I would recommend is not to keep a diagnosis to yourself. Let people know. Reach out. Ask for help. Ask for support. Everyone has friends and family. Let people know. Don't carry it by yourself."

Young credits early diagnosis for her outcome. Her grandmother had previously battled breast cancer, and a mammogram for Debbie identified the cancer while it was still at stage zero. Friday we will introduce you to a local man who is beating cancer after initially being diagnosed with something else.