Real Talk About Breast Cancer

Real struggles.
Real help.
Real courage.

Real Pink is taking real conversations about breast cancer from the doctor's office to the living room. Hosted by Adam Walker, episodes feature candid conversations with survivors, researchers, physicians, and more. Find answers to your toughest questions and clear, actionable steps to live a better life, longer. At Real Pink, compassionate storytelling meets real inspiration, and real support.

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Breast Cancer Resources

Find the information you need.

Risk Factors

Understand the factors that may affect your risk of getting breast cancer.

Screening & Detection

Screening tests are used to find breast cancer before warning signs or symptoms.


Learn about the process of diagnosis, follow-ups, and factors that affect prognosis and treatment.


Learn about treatment for early and locally-advanced breast cancers (stages I, II and III).

Financial Assistance

Here you’ll find resources to help with financial concerns.

Tools and Resources

Here you'll find information about our helpline, as well as resources and interactive tools.

Recent Episodes

Family Ties

Breast cancer screening and early detection play an important role in your health. Screening tests can help detect breast cancer at an early stage when the chances of survival are highest. In this episode, we will dive into the importance of screening and how that can help with early detection. As part of this conversation, we will also discuss why genetic counseling and testing is so important, along with the importance of having discussions about family health history, especially in Black families. Joining us for this discussion is Sharon Anderson, who is living with metastatic inflammatory breast cancer.
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Knowing When to Get Screened for Breast Cancer

Dr. Elizabeth Morris, M.D., is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of California Davis. She is a clinician and specializes in high-risk breast cancer screening. A pioneer in the field of breast imaging, she is at the cutting edge of research using advanced screening techniques like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) in conjunction with artificial intelligence to identify people at higher risk for breast cancer earlier, so they can receive more screening and catch breast cancer earlier. Her Komen work combines screening images, patient health information, genomics, and uses artificial intelligence to predict individuals at higher risk for breast cancer, in hopes of making a better model to identify those who would benefit from earlier or more frequent breast cancer screening. Dr. Morris is here today to talk to us about her passion for early detection and to help us understand when we should be getting screened for breast cancer.
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Recipes for Joyous Living

Finding and seeing joy in life can be a challenge. When you have been diagnosed with cancer four times and lost numerous family members to the disease, it can be even more of a challenge. However, Sulie Spencer has found ways to be victorious in body, mind and spirit and shines her light on every path she crosses. She is a great example of what faith in God, prayer and early detection can do. As a 46-year survivor, she is here today on our podcast alongside her daughter, Julie Washington, to share their family’s story, how to find joy in life despite life’s ups and downs, and how Julie was able to capture her mother’s spirit and passion for cooking in a book called Recipes for Joyous Living: A Story of Inspiration.
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Fighting while Expecting

In this episode of the Susan G. Komen "Real Talk" podcast series, Alison LoCoco and Kate Ratajczak share their personal journeys of being diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant. As guests on the show, they candidly discuss the challenges they faced during this difficult time and offer insight into how they navigated the complex and emotional decisions that came with their diagnoses. Hear firsthand how these two women balanced pregnancy and breast cancer treatment, while also taking care of themselves and their families. With this episode, the series aims to provide a platform for honest and raw conversations about breast cancer, with a focus on underrepresented experiences such as pregnancy and motherhood. Tune in to gain valuable insight and a new perspective on breast cancer, from two brave women who have been there.
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Reframing the Discussion for Surgical Options After Breast Cancer

After undergoing a mastectomy, women can either proceed with a reconstruction or “go flat”, but today’s guest says that the correct decision is what’s best for the patient. As an oncoplastic breast surgeon at City of Hope Chicago, Dr. Carolyn Bhakta performs surgical procedures for patients with breast malignancies, ranging from the earliest to advanced stages of disease. Dr. Bhakta works closely with her patients to understand their cancer needs and goals to identify the most appropriate surgical options and to heal her patients both physically and emotionally. When it comes to breast cancer surgery, there are no wrong decisions – only personal decisions.
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Connecting Black Cancer Patients to Financial Coverage

In an effort to drive systemic change, Komen partnered with ASCO and a group of health care institutions to develop and test interventions that address breast health inequities in the Black community. Here’s a peek into a success story at Parkland Hospital & Health System in Dallas, where the intervention helped connect Black cancer patients to financial coverage and ultimately improved their access to care. We are excited to speak to Maripat Hodges, Cancer Program Manager at Parkland Hospital, to learn more about this success story.
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EP198 - Lauren Gardner

An Olympian’s Story of Feeling Betrayed by Her Body

Healthy lifestyle choices, such as being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet are linked to a lower risk of breast cancer, yet no one knows exactly why one person gets breast cancer and another doesn’t. Everyone is at risk. In fact, the two most common risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and getting older. Today’s guest was blessed with a body that had served her extremely well – it helped her win a bronze medal at the Olympic Games, to navigate a successful, decade long career on Wall Street and brought two healthy babies into the world. Despite being a top-level athlete, having no history of breast cancer in her family and not being a carrier of the BRCA genes, Lauren McFall Gardner was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at the age of 40. She is here today to share her story and the impact that breast cancer had on her life and her vision of health.

Kym Gold

Managing Breast Cancer Like a Boss

Caregivers provide much-needed support for those going through breast cancer. This can be in the form of emotional support such as listening or giving a hug; in the form of practical help like driving to and from doctor appointments, cooking, cleaning or grocery shopping; and through providing informational support like gathering data or the latest news on breast cancer. Mountains of paperwork, medical information and appointments can be overwhelming and a lot for families to manage, especially while they are also trying to ensure that their loved ones feel cared for and understood. Today’s guest is a powerhouse entrepreneur – she was the co-founder of designer jeans brand True Religion, is a 25-year fashion industry veteran, has launched five style brands, develops and produces film and television projects with a social conscience, wrote a book, is a philanthropist and also a mentor to young fashion designers. She is also a triplet and was a caregiver to her mom throughout her battle with metastatic breast cancer. Here today to share her story and how she helped manage her mom’s breast cancer journey like a boss is Kym Gold.

Cati Diamond Stone

Real Talk: Breast Cancer’s Mental Impact

Today, we’re getting real about the mental and emotional impact of breast cancer.

Carlita McIlwain

Carlita McIlwain Remembers Her Mother as a Service-Driven Force of Nature

Although metastatic breast cancer cannot be cured today, it can be treated. Treatment focuses on extending life and maintaining quality of life, both of which were incredibly important to Sylvia Proctor as she was living with metastatic breast cancer. Unfortunately, Sylvia passed away from MBC just before Mother’s Day last year. Her daughter, Carlita McIlwain (MAC-ILL-WAYNE), remembers her mother as an entrepreneur at heart who successfully ran more than 10 businesses during her lifetime while also working full-time. Her life was defined by her devotion to her Catholic faith and her Native American/African American family. Carlita is here today to share her mother’s story, which has fueled her passion to give back and help find the cures for breast cancer. It is her hope that her work will help future generations – both in her family and in her cultures.

Kim Sabelko

Funding the Future of Groundbreaking MBC Research

Susan G. Komen knows that even one more day without a cure for metastatic breast cancer is one day too many when lives are at stake. MBC is the most advanced stage of the disease. Though there are treatments to extend life, there is no cure. That’s why this year, Komen is going one step further to raise an extra $1 million to fund the first ever MBC Excellence in Research Award. Here today to tell us about this $1 Million Challenge and some of the promising new research the grant could fund is Dr. Kim Sabelko, Komen VP of Scientific Strategy and Programs.

Dr. Julie Palmer

Dr. Julie Palmer Researches Breast Cancer in Her Sister’s Memory

This is a promising time in metastatic breast cancer research. Many new treatments for MBC are under study and treatment is improving, allowing families more time with their loved ones. Today’s guest became a breast cancer researcher after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following her late sister’s MBC diagnosis and passing, she has dedicated her career to research that will help to identify women who are at especially high risk of metastatic breast cancer and to identifying lifestyle changes that may improve quality of life for women living with metastatic breast cancer. Here today to share their story in her sister’s memory and how her family history fuels her passion in searching for cures is Komen Scholar Dr. Julie Palmer.

Angelo Merendino

Finding Joy Again After Losing Jen

The loss of a partner or spouse is a traumatic event in the moments leading up to the loss are traumatic as well. While family and friends can be strong sources of support for those with breast cancer, support for their loved ones and caregivers is also crucial. Today’s guest lost his wife, Jennifer, to metastatic breast cancer when he was 38 years old. Here today to share their story a decade later and what his healing process has been like in those years since is Angelo Merendino.


An Eternal Sisterhood: Tara Coppedge Remembers Rhonda Howell

Tara Coppedge never imagined that one of her assignments as a reporter would result in forming a deep bond with Rhonda Howell, who had already been living with metastatic breast cancer for two years when they met in 2017. The two women automatically clicked and forged a deep friendship that continued until Rhonda passed away in January of this year. The impact of losing a friend or loved one is profound and often offers life lessons from the experience, such as how to be brave and to never to take any relationships for granted. Tara is here today to share the story of their friendship and how losing Rhonda changed her life and fueled her inspiration to continue making a difference in the breast cancer community.

Paula Schneider

Real Talk: Getting Real About Breast Cancer

This is Real Talk, a new content series where we’re going to break down the stigmas and feelings of embarrassment and talk openly and honestly about just how difficult breast cancer can be – from diagnosis, to treatment, to living with metastatic breast cancer, to life after treatment ends. Who better to kick off this series than Paula Schneider, the President and CEO of Susan G. Komen, and a 15-year breast cancer survivor. Paula let’s get real about breast cancer. Welcome to the show.

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