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Additional Cancer Screening Testimonials

Judy Snow, 67

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012
My mom and sister both had cancer by 50, so I was very consistent getting mammograms through the years, starting with a baseline at 40 and annual mammograms after that. My cancer was discovered through a mammogram. It was 4 cm, very small. I had a lumpectomy, but the first surgery did not achieve a good enough margin. The second time, we got it all. Today, I’m cancer free. I always knew the radiation from the mammograms was a risk, but I still think having them each year was the right choice.

Dianna Malley, 67

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012
I always kept up with my mammograms: My husband had cancer, I had friends with breast cancer. One year my mammogram came back with an abnormal result, but it was ok when repeated. Then last year, it was not ok. I went home and looked for that lump, but I couldn’t find it. My doctor said I never would have felt it with a self-exam. I was really lucky that the mammogram found it so early. It was invasive, but small and slow growing. Now I’m cancer-free and I’m very grateful. My friends go in faithfully for their mammograms, because of what happened to me.

M. Willis, 55

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012
I have hard-to-read breast tissue. My doctor had me getting mammograms often; I had three in one and a half years so they could look at the calcification. One day during a self-exam I felt something; my doctor said I needed a biopsy right away. The next day I found out I had Stage 2 breast cancer, and it was in my lymph nodes too. It surprised me. I went on to have chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Today, I’m good. I tell people: Do your self exams, even if you don’t feel confident that you’ll even feel something, if it’s there. You will. And if you do, don’t assume it’s nothing. Just go in, no harm. Everyone should have screenings.

S.L.H., 69

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012
For 28 years, every year I had mammogram. Last fall, I got a total shock. Two days after my screening, I got the call that I had to come back in for another mammogram on a special machine. And that afternoon, they confirmed my breast cancer. It was small, but unnerving. Then, wham! Surgery to remove the lump, another surgery to put in a marker, and radiation. I thought, “For 20 years I always got my mammograms, now this?” But today, cautiously, they say I’m good. I’m forever preaching. Don’t you dare put it off! By the time I could feel this lump myself, I might have needed a total mastectomy. Screening saves lives.

Jonnie Barr, 56

Had non-cancerous thyroid tumor removed in 2013
I had a thyroid tumor. It developed slowly, but by the time I got to Franciscan it was looking pretty grotesque. It weighed three pounds and was cutting off my windpipe and pinching an artery in my neck. Another hospital said they could only help me if I had cash up front, but Franciscan worked with me and I’m not going to forget that. I run a basketball academy and I often help kids with no money. I’ll trade coaching for a dozen eggs, or whatever. I guess, what goes around, comes around. Today I have a six-inch scar on my neck, but I’m doing fantastic. I’m grateful.