‘If I hadn’t had my mammogram, I wouldn’t be here right now’: Breast cancer survivor says getting mammograms is key

Breast cancer survivor urges women to get mammograms
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 8:49 PM EDT
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TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - Several health experts are pushing the importance of mammograms for women. They say over the past two years, they’ve seen a rise in breast cancer and certain diseases. They say the lack of early detection screening has played a part in this.

Health experts say the right time to get a mammogram is as soon as possible. Women 40 to 75 are encouraged to get them once a year.

Dr. Lakeisha William, of Affinity Medical Center in Tifton, says early detection and treatment is the best option.

A mammogram takes an X-ray of the breast. It can detect breast cancer up to two years before the tumor can be felt by you or your doctor. Dr. Williams says the COVID-19 pandemic played a big role in a lot of her patients getting off track from their yearly checkups.

“If you are one of those people, be sure to go ahead and get back on track. It’s never too late early detection in early treatment and early screening is what’s going to save your life,” Dr. Williams said.

Breast cancer survivor, Kathy Cyr, says if it wasn’t for her yearly mammogram checkup, she doesn’t believe she would be here to tell her story. She found out she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and then again in 2020 when going to her yearly checkup. She beat cancer both times.

“If I hadn’t had my mammogram, I wouldn’t be here right now. So I am adamant, once a year, every year, and I encourage all of my friends to do the same thing,” Cyr said.

Cyr says she was at high risk for breast cancer because her mother passed away from the disease. Dr. Williams says it’s important to know your genetics when seeking medical help.

“If you have a genetic predisposition for this. You need to let your physician know so that these can be ordered earlier. I’ve been getting them since I was 30 years old for that reason, so I just want to make sure everyone knows you do not have to wait till 40,″ Cyr said.

Experts say over 280,000 new cases of breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed if patients are not getting the early detection and treatment needed for the diagnosis.