American Samoa Community Cancer Coalition Publishes Loretta Talolo's Survivor Story Online

Publication Date: 
August 3, 2009

Cancer is often referred to as a ‘disease of old age’ because it primarily develops during the 40’s and 50’s and becomes symptomatic in the 60’s and 70’s.  However, cancer is also known as the ‘disease that does not discriminate’. It can develop at any age, despite race, ethnicity, social or economic status.

Loretta Talolo was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year at the age of 29. She approached the Cancer Coalition for assistance, and although stipend funds were unavailable, through the generosity of a community member and Hawaiian Airlines, she was able to fly to Hawai’i and then to her family in Hayward, California for additional diagnostic testing.

She has become open about her experience, which is ongoing, and shared some of it with the Coalition through an ‘email interview’ compiled here to hopefully inspire and empower all Samoan women to ‘listen to their bodies’, take advantage of the free cancer screening available through LBJ and the Breast & Cervical Cancer Program, and live a healthy lifestyle. 

To read the compiled email interview, go to our web site and you'll find Loretta's Story in our Survivor Stories section, or visit the link at the bottom of this release.

Excerpt from the Interview:

What message do you send to American Samoans about cancer?

Cancer knows no age limit or gender.  Being diagnosed with breast cancer as a female at the age of 29 was a complete shocker to me.  After doing my own research on breast cancer I learned that even females in their teens (age 15) through later years (60’s-older) can get breast cancer.  If the testing is available please take the opportunity and get tested.

June is Cancer Survivorship Awareness month.  The Cancer Coalition and Network of Partners encourage you to become involved with the cancer issues that may very well affect you one day - as a personal diagnosis or that of a loved one.  Cancer is the second leading cause of death in American Samoa.  Don’t become another statistic.  Eat healthy, be active, fight the urge to smoke and take advantage of the cancer screening available right here on our island.