Burse shares story of fight against breast cancer

College of Medicine public health doctoral student promotes exercise and healthy eating

Natasha Renee Burse, a graduate research assistant and doctoral student in public health at Penn State College of Medicine, discusses her battle against breast cancer on the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition website. She was diagnosed in 2015 and opted to have a double mastectomy. The two-year breast cancer survivor is continuing to obtain post-treatment surveillance based on her genetic history to reduce risk of cancer recurrence.

Read the complete article here.

What are you doing currently at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey?

In August 2017, I transferred from the biobehavioral doctoral program in State College to pursue a doctoral degree in public health at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey. My mentor is Dr. Kathryn Schmitz, and she’s the reason I transferred here. She’s a professor in public health sciences, president of the largest sports medicine and exercise organization in the world and one of the leading exercise interventionists who promotes exercise to limit the side effects of chemotherapy and increase muscle mass.

Is there something you’d like other women to learn from your story?

  • Meet with a genetic counselor to make informed decisions related to treatment, which can increase your chances of survival
  • Stay active: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults participate in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. That breaks down to 30 minutes a day for five days a week.
  • Be proactive and ask questions if something does not make sense to you
  • Make healthier choices: Increase fruit and vegetable intake

Do you have any advice for someone whose friend or loved one is diagnosed?

Yes. My mom was involved and knew what was going on and was patient with the process and asked a lot of questions. Prepare healthy meals for the cancer patient. Make sure the patient is not sitting around too much, go for a walk with them. Reach out to others who are going through the same situation, maybe find a support group for caregivers.

Natasha Renee Burse Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated April 27, 2018