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In May of 2005, I had bariatric surgery. I weighed 387 pounds. In August I had gout as a result of the new high protein diet and also got a "bad" mammogram. I had lost 87 pounds, so they could finally "see" through the dense breast tissue. (I was a 48-DD) Small, less than stage 1 cancer in left breast which had broken out into the milk ducts.

My choice at age 59 was a bilateral mastectomy. I wasn't giving cancer a second chance and I wanted symmetry on my chest. Drastic choice; could have gone with radioactive seed beads or lumpectomy followed by radiation. My choice was to get it done and move on...didn't want to worry about a reoccurence in the same or the other breast in 5-10 years.

I am now 235 pounds...No breast reconstruction, no desire for it...and NO REGRETS...I am a survivor, but I also consider myself "cancer-free".

Meriel Collins
Wahiawa, HI

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Your click on the "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button helps fund free mammograms for women in need — low-income, inner-city and minority women whose awareness of breast cancer and opportunity for help is often limited. Your click is paid for by site sponsors, and mammogram funding is provided to clinics throughout the U.S. through grants distributed by With a simple, daily click of the pink "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Breast Cancer Site, visitors help to provide free mammograms for women in need. Visitors pay nothing. In addition to clicking the pink "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button, visitors can help more by shopping in The Breast Cancer Site store. With each item purchased, shoppers generate funds that provide free mammograms for women in need.

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