No History Doesn’t Eliminate the Possibility


Photo by Summer Duke

October is breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is the most common and most diagnosed cancer in the world. According to the National Cancer Institute in 2022 breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in the United States with 290,000 cases and counting. Year by year people across the world are being changed by this heart-wrenching diagnosis.

Leslie Jacob, 73, has battled this horrendous disease not only once but, twice in the past fifteen years. Originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, her cancer returned in 2021. Jacob is the matriarch of her family, with three kids of her own, five grandkids, and two great-grandchildren.Summer Duke who is Jacob’s daughter “My mom is the glue of our family, none of us would be here without her. I don’t want to even imagine life without her.

Jacob’s family didn’t have a large history of breast cancer therefore, it wasn’t something on her radar originally until she started to suffer symptoms in late 2005. She noticed a small mass on her side and didn’t think anything of it originally until it started to get bigger, and she decide to go see her physician. Shortly after the visit, she was sent for further testing where she discovered that she did in fact have breast cancer.

Duke said “I was rattled and heartbroken knowing that my mother had to go through this again, it was heartbreaking watching her go through it in 2006, but we never imagined that she would have to through it again.

It doesn’t matter your age, weight, or even gender. Breast cancer is possible for anyone, so self-screen as often as possible and if anything is ever slightly abnormal, please see a doctor.” – Lessie Jacobs

After a long and difficult battle with breast cancer, Jacobs was in remission in early 2008. She was lucky enough to come out of this battle when many do not.

Jacob began raising awareness for breast cancer, especially for women that don’t typically have a family history of the disease. Jacob went on to speak at many woman’s conferences all around the United States advocating and telling her story. She stayed in remission for thirteen years and shockingly in 2021 she got the news that she, unfortunately, had another battle with breast cancer.

Jacob said, “I knew it was possible, but it was the last thing I envisioned. I knew I had another battle ahead of me. I am going to trust in God that he will see me through this again. Having cancer is scary on its own but now the circumstance is different because the entire world is going through a pandemic.”

As of today, Jacob has completed treatment and is hopeful that is the end of her battle. She will continue to educate and encourage others to get tested regularly and be aware of this disease that takes no prisoners.