Under Her Skin: Stories of Living With Breast Cancer

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In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we're delivering you a special podcast. Through audio diaries recorded over the course of six months, The Takeaway's series "Under Her Skin: Living With Breast Cancer" follows three African-American women diagnosed with the disease. 

A recent study has found that African-American women with breast cancer are 40 percent more likely to die than their white counterparts. "Under Her Skin" features the stories behind these difficult survival statistics.

Takeaway Host John Hockenberry explores the triumphs and struggles of three women living with the diease: Anita Coleman, age 55, from Los Angeles; Lisa Echols, age 47, from Memphis; and Crystal Miller, age 28, from New York City.

Anita is all too familiar with breast cancer—last February marked her second diagnosis with the disease. She talks about fighting breast cancer for the second time; how her son, daughter and grandchildren, are coping; and her advice for relieving anxiety and the physical symptoms associated with breast cancer and breast cancer treatment.

Lisa began her audio diaries as she recovered from a double mastectomy. She describes her recovery, her husband's response, and how her son and daughter have responded to her diagnosis. Lisa also discusses how her faith has helped her through this difficult period.

As a nurse, Crystal has often cared for women with breast cancer, so she knew a great deal about the disease before her diagnosis. Many of the issues Crystal discusses relate to her age: At just 28-years-old, she describes her new attitudes toward dating, having children, and even mortality.

All of the audio diaries recorded by Anita, Lisa, and Crystal are available at www.livingwithbreastcancer.org. Hundreds of women have also joined the project's Facebook group to discuss their own triumphs and struggles of living with breast cancer.