One in eight women will develop breast cancer, and while there's no way to prevent it, doctors say catching it early is the next best thing.
â??I look at every day as a gift,â?? said Tamara Doney, a breast cancer survivor. â??You live every moment because you just never know.â??
Since breast cancer was never in Tamara Doney's family, she assumed it would never happen to her. But last year, at age 44 after her first mammogram, doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer, and by June she received a double mastectomy. Doney credits her victory to early detection through a mammogram.
â??We can detect cancers that are so small,â?? said Dr. Heidi Henry-Sarka, a radiologist. â??The calcifications are just so small, theyâ??d almost fit on the head of a pin.â??
Physicians encourage women 40 and over to get a mammogram once a year. Women with breast cancer in their family should begin 10 years before the age their loved one was diagnosed, and all women should conduct self breast exams on a monthly basis.
â??There are so many patients that I see, too, that did their breast exam, they felt something, and they came into me,â?? Sarka said.
â??Is it in the back of my mind? Absolutely,â?? Doney admitted. â??Is it going to come back? I donâ??t know.â??
Like her classes, the battle is in recess, but she knows the fight is truly never over.