Under Her Skin: Lisa Echols

Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - 02:00 PM

Lisa Echols. (Christopher Blank/WKNO)

Lisa Echols is 46-years-old. She was diagnosed with breast cancer on December 9, 2013 after doctors spotted an abnormality in her annual mammogram.

Lisa lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee, where the mortality rate for black women with breast cancer is twice that of their white counterparts. She says she is a wife, mother and friend first—and a woman fighting cancer second.

Listen to Lisa's story below.



Lisa Echols


Ellen Frankman, Arwa Gunja, T.J. Raphael and Jillian Weinberger


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Comments [3]

Bea from Seattle

As a person coming from a family with a history of diabetes, I was pleased to hear Lisa speak of the work she and her husband are doing around that issue. At the same time, I recognize the stress that must come from having a life threatening illness oneself and also having to "be there" for a family member.
You're doing everything possible to live a healthy life and you still get something as awful as breast cancer. We are not to blame for the diseases that find us, we are only responsible for how we live our lives before, during and after. Barbara Ehrenreich has written of her disdain of the cult that has sprung up around breast cancer. I don't have it, but her perspective resonates with me.(she does not like the emphasis on the positve aspect of getting BC) So---what are we doing to close this health gap between African American women and other women? I'll be listening closely as I have been reading everything possible on the effects of cultural differences in the delivery of all kinds of services and the resultant outcomes.

Jul. 08 2014 01:00 PM
Elisabeth from NJ

Your story is very heartfelt, and I am so pleased and proud of your attitude and approach. A positive attitude is what you can contribute to the recovery along with great docs and the treatment plan. Go forth with great strength and the legions of women who cheer you on and walk with you.
When I was diagnosed in 1999, i made it my project to get 10 women to have a mammogram for the first time and to follow up with them. I was working in a FORTUNE 50 company with women who are aware of health issues. Much to my surprise and disappointment, I asked many, many women and only three were willing to have a mammogram. The insurance payment was 100%, the brochures were easy to read, the Radiation practice was about a 7 minute walk, I offered to go with any woman who would like me to. The excuses were plentiful with no scientific basis. It is easier to get women to go for mammograms today, but the excuses get harder to comprehend.

Jul. 08 2014 08:04 AM

Lisa .... I listened to your story this morning as I was driving to work and I wanted to offer you the support of a 20 year survivor of bc. I was 44 at the time of diagnosis and had a 2 year old and a 10 year old. I admire your positive attitude and will keep you in my prayers for a full recovery. Lots of better meds these days to keep away the ill effects of chemo. Remember that the illness you feel is a result of treatment, not of cancer. When all this treatment is finished work on improving your immune system. Don't worry after treatment is all finished if you find a lump or something that doesn't seem right - go to the doc right away and get it checked out. Check it out and rule it out. Don't spend a minute worrying. Find reasons to laugh every day. Hugs and prayers to a new sister.

Jul. 07 2014 09:20 PM

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