Annual mammograms save lives: Schedule online
Patients share breast cancer survival stories and urge others to schedule mammograms
Countless women are still here with us today because they kept to their annual breast cancer screening schedule.
Two of those women are Ann and Kathy. Both were able to have their breast cancer treated at the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Macomb, but only after it was discovered at a treatable stage by their regular mammogram.
As Ann put it: “I’m here because I got my annual mammogram.”
In 2015, Ann, a mother of two and wife to a loving husband, was diagnosed with breast cancer, discovered following Ann’s annual mammogram at McLaren Macomb. After receiving treatment from the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Macomb, Ann is now a survivor.
“In September of 2020, I celebrated five years of survivorship after my fight,” she said. “It was an incredibly emotional time for me and my family since statistics show that making it to five years increases your odds of making it to 10 years. And with a husband and two kids now in college, this means I have a greater chance of staying in their lives. That means everything to me.”
Ann credits still being in her loved ones’ lives to her annual mammogram, and she — a survivor — urges all women to keep to their mammogram schedule.
Ann always kept her screenings, saying, “One year I was clear and the next I was diagnosed with a very aggressive breast cancer, which had already progressed to stage 3.”
Being here allowed Ann to help her mother through a cancer diagnosis, as well as her cousin.
“I still see my doctor for follow-ups every three months, I still have lymphedema from my diagnosis, and now I’ve developed some neuropathy in my hands and feet,” she said. “But in the face of all that, I’m still here.
“I’m here because I got my annual mammogram. Please don’t delay yours.”
Kathy’s is a similar story. In 2009, she was diagnosed with breast cancer following her annual mammogram. But because of that screening, the cancer was detected early, and she too is a survivor.
However, Kathy also has a unique perspective — she has more than 30 years of experience as a mammography technician.
“My daughter was getting married. When I was diagnosed, I promised my family that I would do whatever it took to beat the cancer exactly for those milestones in their lives,” she said. “I cannot wait to see her in her wedding dress, walking down the aisle with her dad and marrying the man of her dreams.”
Kathy’s son is in the U.S. Marine Corps. He graduated from boot camp in 2017. “That was a very memorable day in our family's life,” she said. “The hug I shared with him that day is one I will never forget.”
Because of scheduling yearly mammograms, Kathy’s doctors caught the cancer early. “I look forward to celebrating many more milestones with my precious family,” she said.
Furthermore, Kathy says she is grateful to have a job in which she makes a difference in so many lives.
“How many people can say that what they do for a living has the potential to save lives daily? I am thrilled to say that my job does have that potential,” Kathy said. “I have been on the receiving end of its life-saving potential, and now I get to pay it forward — screening ladies every day for breast cancer.”
Do yourself and your family a favor: Schedule your yearly mammogram!
McLaren Macomb has made scheduling a mammogram appointment quick and simple. Schedule your next mammogram online and make your appointment around your schedule. View all open appointments at all five conveniently located McLaren Macomb Breast Centers at mclaren.org/macombbreastcenters.