Finding Breast Cancer Early
Getting regular screening tests is the best way for women to lower their risk of dying from breast cancer. Screening tests can detect breast cancer early, when it's most treatable. If you're confused by the recent news about breast cancer screening, talk to your health care provider about what's right for you.
Don't be Afraid - Just Do It
"In 2004, at the age of 44, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was shocked.
I could not feel a lump and I had no reason to suspect I had cancer, but it was discovered during my annual mammogram. I knew nothing about breast cancer and I was afraid. I wondered, "How can I work and go through treatment?" and "Will I die?" I was afraid for my two children and my husband. I wondered why I had cancer - what caused me to have cancer? And then I jumped into action.
I had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. My employer encouraged me to work from home and flex my schedule. I decided to look for golden moments during the treatment process. I enjoyed visiting with other patients during infusion therapy. We shared stories and sometimes we laughed. Sometimes we were quiet and just thankful for the other's presence. Dr. Harmon and his staff at St. Joseph's Hospital were kind, caring, and informative and willing to answer all of my questions.
Today I rarely think about my encounter with breast cancer. Only when someone brings it up or it is time for my mammogram. If I would have skipped my annual mammogram in 2004 as I had originally intended, who knows where I might be? The cancer would certainly have been more advanced and I would have had to face treatment with the reality that I was too busy for my annual mammogram that could (and did) save my life. My message to my sisters is "Do Not Be Afraid - Just Do It."