In October of 2008, I was at the doctor for my annual pap exam and the doctor asked about family history of breast cancer. My maternal Aunt was diagnosed at 36, but after an up and down battle with breast cancer, she pasted away at 42. Due to the story, my doctor decided to order a mammogram for a base line since I was 36, but things should be fine. A week later, I had the digital mammogram and thought all was well. Three days later, a nurse called to have me come back for more images. I would have a digital diagnostic mammogram and stay for immediate results from the doctor. After 10 minutes, the doctor called me to another room to inform me that they have decided to send me for a biopsy. The two radiologist saw some calcifications which are suggestive of breast cancer. I was shocked. My life had changed in just 10 minutes.
My first sterotactic biopsy was done and in a week it was confirmed, I had stage 0 Breast cancer. Really good prognosis, but still breast cancer - I was still in shock, but keeping it together. Further testing showed possibly more cancer, another biopsy, but luckily, that was benign. I would only need a lumpectomy followed by 5 weeks of radiation.
I have thanked my doctor sincerely for taking the time to listen and ordering that mammogram. Had I waited until I was 40 years old to have that done, the doctors said that my prognosis would have been worse.
I think of my Aunt, her courage and strength, to have gone through so much, but I know that she helped me today.