For many, "Breast Cancer Awareness" month is a chance to show support for cancer survivors.
Breast cancer survivor Kristie Schreck said a supportive team is essential in battling the disease.She's married to KSFY Senior Meteorologist Phil Schreck. Her diagnosis was a surprise to those who know the couple.
"(People said) I can't believe it happened to you," she said. "It can happen to anyone. I want people to know that too."
Her father died of cancer 23 years ago.Her brother was also diagnosed with cancer, but familiarity with the disease didn't prepare her for the tough road ahead.
"You can be inundated with people saying: ‘I have a friend who has it, and I want you to talk to them', or ‘I know who has it, You should call'. Until you're really ready to take those steps. I don't think you can move forward."
Kristie Schreck said she couldn't have made it through this difficult time without a strong support system, including the extensive services offered at the Avera Cancer Institute. Early detection helped made the difference.
"Don't wait, and don't ask yourself: 'Well what if it's me' If you're diagnosed, why not you? I'm so grateful it wasn't my children or husband. You can deal with it, you can do it. You don't want to but you can."
Kristie said she was fortunate to have her cancer caught and diagnosed so early. It meant surgery was her primary treatment. She's having surgery next week.
Breast cancer is the most lethal form of cancer for women in the world. An estimated 1 million cases will be identified this year.