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Cancer launched my business

Seven cancer survivors confronted life-threatening diseases and turned their experiences into successful small business ideas.

Elyn Jacobs, Elyn Jacobs Consulting

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Elyn Jacobs, 51: Helps cancer patients navigate their treatment

Elyn Jacobs was 45, with two children under five, and working full time as a Wall Street bond trader when she decided to hit the pause button on her busy life.

"I had been trading for 23 years and it was time," she said. No sooner did she make that decision that a routine mammogram showed she had breast cancer.

"I had no idea that anything was wrong. I didn't feel a lump," she said. Soon after, Jacobs' mother was losing her own 13-year battle with breast cancer. Jacobs mother died in 2007. And later that year, Jacobs' sister was also diagnosed with breast cancer.

As Jacobs started researching the disease, treatment options and lifestyle changes, she found herself becoming a resource to other women.

"I was even asked by some women to go with them to their doctor's appointment," she said. "Many times women don't know what to ask the doctor or don't comprehend what the doctor is saying. That's where I would help them."

Jacobs, who lives in New York, opened a consultancy in 2008 that focuses on cancer patient advocacy.

She subsequently also became a certified cancer coach. Today, Jacobs has 100 clients. She also speaks at conventions and has a weekly online radio show that features health and wellness experts.

  @CNNMoney - Last updated October 02 2012 10:40 AM ET