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Michelle’s Story


Michelle is like many young women in their early 40’s. She has a great career which keeps her busy. She has an active lifestyle. Being healthy, she didn’t pay much attention to the recommendation to have an annual mammogram and conduct monthly breast exams once you turn 40. Why should she? There was absolutely no family history of breast cancer. Surely this recommendation was intended for those women who had a history of breast cancer in their family. So she put it off. She didn’t pay attention at 40. Nor did she bother at 41. Her forty second birthday followed quickly and it continued to be of little concern, but when Michelle turned 43 something changed. For some unknown reason, she felt a strange sensation in her breast. She decided to do a self breast exam as she had been taught, placing her arm over head while lying on her back. She didn’t feel anything. But when she sat up she was certain she felt something.

Michelle decided the only way to allay her fears would be to have her doctor tell her it was nothing to worry about. After having a breast exam by her doctor she was given a physician order for a mammogram at Windsong. She soon learned that what she had felt was more than a suspicion -she had breast cancer.

Michelle cannot help but wonder how much earlier she could have caught her cancer if she had listened to the American Cancer Society mammogram recommendation and received her first mammogram at the age of forty. She also cannot help but wonder how it is that she sensed something so small and difficult for even the most skilled clinician to palpate within her breast. “I really think it was by the grace of God that I was able to feel something that day,” shared Michelle. “The doctors were surprised that I was able to find it.”

Since her diagnosis, Michelle has made a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. She has worked hard to understand what types of sugars can feed cancer cells and has lost about 20 pounds by simply avoiding or limiting certain foods. You cannot help but be taken by the determination of this young woman. Michelle is on a mission to educate others and she is doing so with an amazing inner strength. She is sharing her story in order to encourage co-workers, friends and family to adhere to the recommendation for an annual mammogram after the age of forty. She does so with a beauty and poise that will assuredly inspire woman to never take for granted the importance of annual screening to ensure early detection. To schedule your mammogram, please call (716) 631-2500.