Theresa Frank

13 years ago, Theresa Frank was afraid she

13 years ago, Theresa Frank was afraid she would remain single after a mastectomy. She's now cancer-free, married and working on a family. (Credit: Newsday)

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In 1996, Theresa Frank was too young to start getting regular mammograms. But she was smart enough to pay attention to something unusual: a slight discharge of blood from her nipple.

Although diagnosed very early, at Stage 0, the cancer was an aggressive form.

“I was totally shocked. My first thought was that I was going to die. I was 30, single and scared.”

Now 13 years cancer-free, Theresa is married and working on having a family.

“When I had my mastectomy, I wondered who would ever want to marry me,” she says. “Even with reconstruction, I still had scars, and I was afraid to start dating."

Once she met the right man - her now-husband Mark - breast cancer was no barrier.

"It didn’t matter one bit to him,” says Theresa, who volunteers for several breast cancer support organizations.

What she learned throughout her ordeal was that “breast cancer can happen to anyone at any age. But if you try to stay positive and strong, you know you can survive it.”

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