On the occasion of the awareness on breast cancer, in October, Andrea Alarcón, engineer from Chillaneja, told how her experience of suffering from this disease has motivated her to sensitize several women on the subject, through workshops where her story it is a source of inspiration to become aware of the importance of preventive self-assessment and early diagnosis.

Every time October arrives, the information campaigns on this disease have increased over the years. And it is that to speak of breast cancer is to refer to the first cause of death in women both in Chile and in the world. According to data from the Ministry of Health (Minsal), currently about a thousand women die every year and the age range of risk has increased towards the younger population.

For this reason we wanted to speak to a Chillan practitioner who received this diagnosis two years ago.


Andrea Alarcón is a 43-year-old woman, engineer in Business Administration with mention in Human Resources, mother of two children, who, in the month of December 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, received the news of having breast cancer. “Without a doubt it was a shock, an unexpected scenario that changed my life. The truth is that I felt like everything was paralyzed ”, she pointed out her without losing her smile.

In the first place, Andrea reported that, to the impact of the news, a bleak panorama has been added, since in addition to needing a lot of professional help, he has not found references on the disease or community of accompaniment and support. “When you are faced with a disease like this, not only medical assistance is important, but also meeting women who have lived or are going through that life situation. Over time I realized that he is a very helpful example, “she said.

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But far from sinking into sadness or anguish, Andrea discovered the strength she had, the one that inspired her to become the role model she was looking for, but being an activist for many women she met along the way. “I have taken on an educational and accompanying role for patients. I’m doing everything I would have liked to have when I was diagnosed, showing the reality, ”she explains.


This is how she created her Instagram @ andreamujerpower2021 with the aim of making breast cancer a much more common and open topic by breaking down the myths. “I feel that the more noise and discussion the topic is made, the more people can be diagnosed in time, ie give them the tools so they can know something strange is going on and act quickly, they will be reached,” she points out.

From her own experience, Andrea ensures that any woman can find herself in this situation tomorrow. “You never imagine cancer will knock on your door. One says ‘I hope it does not happen to any acquaintance’, but you never imagine that the acquaintance is yourself ”.

For this reason, he stresses the importance of being vigilant. “Cancer is not a sentence if you find out early. You have to beware of symptoms such as nipple retraction, orange peel skin, changes in breast size, redness … any breast abnormality “, Andrea points out and adds that” self-knowledge is essential, however, it does not replace mammography “.

Tell us about your activism on the issue

In the last two years I have attended several training courses to prepare myself for leadership, communication, accompaniment of cancer patients and also as a motivational and life coach. This has allowed me to have in mind many projects that I am carrying out in the Ñuble Region through different platforms such as radio, press and television in commercials on breast cancer prevention.

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To the above are added several online workshops, also through a company of psychologists of which I am a member as a motivational agent. We hold interviews online through the University of Valparaíso. Likewise, I have organized face-to-face meetings (recreational afternoons) with women who have had breast cancer and I am the director of “Embrace life for one more day” which is an oncology group at Herminda Martin Hospital where everyone the types of cancer are addressed in the Ñuble Region.

I also attended the 1st National Breast Cancer Congress and have been present in many patient level activities, both in Concepción and Santiago.

For later, my goal is to continue training as a motivational agent and life coach.


Likewise, he stresses that cancer should be treated as a problem for society as a whole, as it is not enough for patients with this type of cancer to know, in simple terms, what is happening to them, but rather than the population, especially close relatives, should be aware of how to deal with these problems.

Based on the above, she sadly comments on how common were the incidents where people turned on the street to look at her, what she fondly calls “her peladita”. “The lack of information is exposed there. They do not know that the patient is experiencing many things. She needs support, not to be left out or seen as a fanatic. Unfortunately, women who suffer from it have to deal with a society that looks at them with pity, “she says, emphasizing that empathy is key, as” it affects you physically, emotionally and economically … it affects you in every way, ” she states.

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Likewise, Andrea says respect is essential. “Each patient experiences it in different ways. That’s why I encourage personalized treatment with every woman who has cancer, considering their experiences and never looking at them with compassion, as self-love and self-esteem are also affected in this process, ”she stresses.

As a final message to all those women who have been diagnosed with this disease, she recommends “always listen to yourself, in each advancing phase, live one day at a time, step by step and avoid thinking about what will happen next. Not facing it alone, accompanied by your family and other patients, makes the process much easier because you can understand what you are going through “, concludes Andrea Alarcón with a welcoming smile and a calm voice, urging the women of Ñuble to join this network support.

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