“Bosom buddies”: South Jersey twin sisters with history of breast cancer advocate for cancer screenings

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Recommended cancer screenings have been lagging because of the pandemic. It’s time to catch up, according to the American Cancer Society which encourages people to include screenings in their New Year’s resolutions.

Making apple pie is a family ritual for these 60-year-old South Jersey twins who also share a history of breast cancer.

“Now we’re each other’s bosom buddies not only as sisters but as best friends,” Barbara Page-Carlson said.

Barbara was diagnosed first, then Jeannie.

“It stops you in your tracks, I remember being brought to my knees,” Jeannie Page-Soncrat said.

Having survived after a series of treatments, the sisters are now big advocates for screenings.

“If it weren’t for the screenings I might not be here today,” Jeannie said.

Screenings like mammograms, colonoscopies and pap smears can find early stage cancer when it’s most curable.

“It’s just got to be a priority in your life,” Jeannie said.

But Nearly 10 million cancer screenings didn’t happen because of the pandemic, according to the American Medical Association.

“This year is an important year because we’re in a catch-up mode,” Dr. Arnold Baskies said.

Dr. Arnold Baskies, with the American Cancer Society, is hoping people make 2024 New Year’s resolutions to get recommended screenings.

“The numbers of cancer are increasing each year,” Baskies said.

He said there’s been an alarming trend of younger people developing cancer but fortunately, treatments are more advanced now.

“We’ve seen some dramatic improvements in survival,” Baskies said.

“We get screened all the time,” Barbara said.

Now for the twins, it’s about living beyond cancer and encouraging others to be proactive.

Barbara: Every day is a gift

Jeannie: You said it sister

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