2013-10-17 / Letters to the Editor

Women shouldn’t be afraid of mammogram

I am writing this letter in the hope that women who are hesitant or afraid of a mammogram will consider this: The current rate of breast cancer among women is about one in six.

One night in June 2011, I was having dinner with six of my closest friends and we were talking about this and we all looked at each other and realized it could happen to one of us. In July of 2011, I learned that I had stageone breast cancer that was found during a routine mammogram. There was no lump and no family history. After two surgeries to remove cancer and get clean margins, I then had chemo and radiation. I finished in March of 2012. In July 2012, I went for my mammogram and more cancer (different than the original, but still breast cancer) was discovered. I then had major surgery last October and am happy to have just celebrated reaching my first of five years to be considered cancer free.

The point of all this is to tell women that the technology nowadays is amazing and that having a mammogram and being afraid and in a bit of pain for that 30 minutes is worth it. If I had not been diligent in my yearly exams I am certain that my prognosis would not have allowed me to continue working at a job I love. Not a day goes by that at some point I realize how lucky I was and still am. So please, ladies, make that call and go have the mammogram. Think about your family. When you are diagnosed with breast cancer or any other type it will impact those you love and who love you.

Karen Rafanelli
Intrepid Lane
Jamestown

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