Posted by: Ricka Marsh, Training Manager, DPH WIC Learning Center
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as a breast cancer survivor I would like to share with you my personal experience on the topic. Over 10 years ago I got the dreaded diagnosis that I had breast cancer. It was discovered when I went for a mammogram.
This was not my first mammogram – I had undergone a few mammograms previously, before deciding to stop because it was just too painful the way they pulled and squished my breasts for those x-rays. Then, about 3 years later a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer.
When I visited with her, she urged me to go back to routine mammograms like I had done before. I took her advice and that was when they discovered a suspicious lump in my breast. After taking a few more breast x-rays followed by a biopsy it was confirmed – I had breast cancer.
The doctor recommended a treatment plan which included a lumpectomy, followed by radiation, a drug called tamoxifen, and regularly scheduled mammograms afterwards.
I stuck with the treatment plan because I was determined to get well. Today I am a breast cancer survivor and I am forever grateful to my friend who urged me to go get my mammogram. The early detection and treatment resulted in a good outcome for me.
There are a range of risk factors for breast cancer – talk to your health care provider to learn what your potential risk factors might be. And in the meantime, eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, and remember that early detection saves lives.