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2011 survivor profile: Orrie L. Carroll

“Don’t be afraid to talk about what you’re

“Don’t be afraid to talk about what you’re going through.” - Orrie L. Carroll

When Orrie L. Carroll went for her annual mammogram in March 2005, the doctor didn’t wait long to give her the news. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer before I even left the office,” she recalls. “It was very unusual, but my doctor just knew.”

Although the diagnosis came as a “devastating jolt,” Carroll took comfort in another piece of information her doctor shared. “She said that, if I had skipped this mammogram and waited another year, it’s very likely that the cancer would have spread beyond one breast. It shows how important it is to keep up on your regular screenings.”

Carroll was treated at The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Center, which connected her with Sisters of Greater Long Island (, whose mission is to “remove the fear of cancer and its treatments from the minds of African-American women and men in the Long Island community.”

Seeking support is key to recovery, says Carroll. A few weeks ago, she attended a free weekend retreat given by “Casting for Recovery,” a non-profit that provides breast cancer survivors with the opportunity to gather in nature and learn fly fishing. They also take educational seminars and, most important, make lifelong connections. Says Carroll, “We came in as strangers, and walked out as friends.”


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