Breast Cancer is the type of oncological disease with the highest incidence rate in Portugal. From year to year, this reality has been increasing. Every year, around 6,000 women are diagnosed with this pathology.
The probability of breast cancer developing increases after the age of 45. However, it is after 60 that the risk increases. Screening is the best weapon to combat this health problem, especially from these ages or if there is a family history.
An early diagnosis increases the success rate in controlling and curing the disease. In Portugal, there are breast cancer screening programs, such as the one carried out by the Portuguese League Against Cancer . Support from your attending physician is also a good option for information.
Carla Andrino was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2016. The actress joined Oito.Um in raising awareness about this disease. In an emotional and sincere interview, he spoke about how he managed to overcome all adversity.
“Pay attention to your body’s signals”
How did you react to the news that you had Breast Cancer?
After a few seconds of silence, in which a tear came out, I reacted. I didn’t go into denial or waste energy thinking “why me?”. I wanted to know what I could do from there. A phrase from my dear doctor, Fernando Laje, guided this entire process. Hearing him say “you should look at this disease like you look at the sea: with great respect, but without fear” reassured me.
What made you suspicious?
Anything! It was a routine mammogram. As I had a maternal aunt with Breast Cancer, I had exams annually since I was 40 years old.
And how did the family react?
With hope, but above all with lots of love!
Have you ever thought it could happen to you?
We never think it could come to us or ours!
It's a very difficult fight. During the treatment process, how did you feel emotionally and physically?
Physically, during chemotherapy, I felt tired, without strength and with some body aches. Emotionally and psychologically, she was very strong and quite confident. Doing my part, leaving the remaining 50% for Medicine.
You cannot say “I am cured” after an illness like cancer. Do you live in fear?
No. Fear lives in the future and I am a woman of the present, of today, of the here and now. Only in the days leading up to the results of routine exams do I feel natural anxiety.
Carla exposed her illness to the general public very early. What led you to do this?
It wasn't early, it was 3 months after diagnosis. Knowing that it was going to be front page news the next day precipitated sharing the information.
Do you feel like you inspired people?
It was not and is not at all the intention. But I have found that my story, and the way I lived it, gives strength and courage to anyone who is going through a similar situation .
If it were today, would you have done anything differently?
No. The way I lived my life and made my choices was always with truth and with what made sense to me at the time.
What contribution does sport make to your life, particularly in the post-treatment phase?
I train with a PT three times a week and go for walks. Sport has been a common practice throughout my life. In addition to my body, it is very good for my head. At the time of the treatments, in physical terms, I didn't have the strength to climb a flight of stairs, let alone do physical exercise!
When he found out that Oito.Um is a brand with an active voice in breast cancer prevention, he was very available for this project. Is it important for you to keep your voice active?
Yes it is. The voice of resilience .
And what should be the role of brands and companies in this process?
Encourage the celebration of life!
Oito.Um takes part in this mission in a 100% altruistic way, as it supports the cause even if there is no financial return from this project. Do you think the business world needs to give much more to society and that more initiatives of this kind should emerge?
The most possible! Initiatives like this – which I would like to congratulate – are useful in raising awareness and de-dramatizing the disease.
What advice would you give to women who think that Breast Cancer only happens to others?
Keep an eye on your body's signals. If in doubt, consult your doctor. Living in denial doesn't seem like the healthiest solution.
Do you want to say a special thank you?
Thank you, life, for allowing me to continue dating you. Living you is wonderful. Thanks!
October is Breast Cancer Prevention Month. To mark the anniversary, Oito.Um created a solidarity t-shirt . For each unit sold in the online store, 5 euros goes to the Portuguese League Against Cancer . Help us help!