Cancer Screening Story
Having a mammogram saved my life. I had a routine mammogram at age 42 – July of 2008. After finding some tiny white dots back against my chest wall, the radiologist ordered another mammogram to get a closer look. Because of the skill of the technician, we were able to find more of the same white dots. After having a biopsy, I was diagnosed with DCIS – Ductal Carcinoma In Situ – which is a noninvasive breast cancer. As the doctors sliced the tissue open, they also found an invasive tumor. The borders weren’t clean, so they did another biopsy – and found another invasive tumor. My decision for treatment included a bi-lateral mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, and 5 months of chemo. I remember a conversation I had with my doctor, where he told me that if it wasn’t for the mammogram, we would not have found the tumors for at least another 5 years. I’m HER2 positive, so, although the tumors were small, they were very fast growing. In 5 years, when the tumors would have grown enough to find by touch, I would have been in the last stages of breast cancer, and would most likely not have survived. What a sobering thought. The discovery and subsequent treatment of my breast cancer was a direct result of having a routine mammogram. How grateful I am for the skills and concern of the technicians, radiologist, surgeons, and oncologist who saved me. All through my treatment, I thought about how lucky I was to have good insurance – the kind that pays for a mammogram once a year. I seriously doubt that I would have taken the time to get a mammogram if my insurance refused to pay for it. Because of the care I received throughout my cancer journey, I’ve chosen to become involved in helping other women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and helped to found Lifting Hearts
Breast Cancer Support Group – a local group dedicated to helping survivors heal.
Breast Cancer Survivor
49 years old