NEW YORK (WABC) -- Deborah Hall-Moore remembers the moment 19 years ago when she discovered something was wrong and the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer that immediately followed.
"Early one Sunday morning I woke up and my hand was on my chest and I felt a lump," she said. "It was all the more distressing because I'd actually missed a couple of screenings, so I blamed myself, I felt I should have known better," Hall-Moore said.
She had encouraged her relatives to get their annual screenings, but hadn't heeded her own advice.
Deborah underwent surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and even enrolled in a clinical trial for a new drug called Herceptin, which soon became widely used.
But since then, treatments have evolved.
"There were no targeted treatments at that time," Hall-Moore said. "There was chemo, there was radiation. It was one size fits all but no more."
Dr. Shanthi Sivendran, the Senior Vice President of the American Cancer Society says the field of breast cancer has changed dramatically in the past 10 years.
"We are able to now give treatments that are much more tailored to the patients and so we're able to give treatments that are equally as effective, but less toxic to the patient," Sivendran said.
Hall-Moore supports the American Cancer Society and has long participated in its Making Strides against breast cancer events in NYC.
The money raised goes to research and care.
"Working with Making Strides was my way of paying it forward," she said. "And also I have personal reasons because I have a granddaughter, my heart, 14-year-old Kiara, and no one in my family has ever had a grandmother. I didn't have a grandmother. My children didn't have a grandmother. And so I feel like I broke the family curse."
And while fewer women are now dying from breast cancer, cancer rates remain higher among Black and Hispanic women.
The American Cancer Society is funding 61 research grants to determine why that disparity exists.
And as always, there's the continued push for early detection.
"Get your screenings ladies, get them on time, and get them consistently, make cancer screening a part of your self-care regimen," Hall-Moore said.
It's the kind of self-care than can truly save a woman's life.