As October brings renewed awareness and emphasis on breast cancer early detection and screening, an Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital patient felt compelled to share her experience as a reminder of the need to be diligent about mammograms and screenings. Here is the account from Sally of Atlanta:
Ladies: Get Your Mammograms!
In February, 1998, I had my first cancer – uterine. Surgery and radiation took care of that. But I vowed to get a mammogram every year because when women get older (I’m 82 ½), they are prone to get breast cancer and breast cancer likes to travel.
I confess that in the beginning of the 16-years that followed, I was gung-ho! I dutifully got my mammogram in the early spring each year and self-examined by breast according to the brochure every month.
As time went on, I eliminated the self examination all together and took my mammograms a little later in the year. All of a sudden, 2013 was over and I did not have a mammogram that year!
I got my mammogram in late February 2014, and with the help of ultrasound and a biopsy, I was diagnosed with cancer in my right breast.
Fortunately, it was Stage 1, very small, no lymph node involvement, but it was detected only by a mammogram. Why am I telling you this? I didn’t detect my cancer and through my carelessness, that breast cancer could have grown and spread. It is a warning. Please tell other women of my story and my ignorance.
The good new is, with help from the doctors, doctors’ team, nurses and breast health patient navigator at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, I had a lumpectomy and mammo site radiation. I am cancer free and feeling fine. But I will be sure to get a mammogram each year.
Sally of Atlanta, GA
Please pass this on to the women in your life.