My name is Sherry Huzar and I am a three year breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in February 2002 at age 45.
I began regular mammogram screenings at age 40. I had several cysts removed by needle aspiration from my right breast, never really knowing that the doctor also suspected a breast mass on my left breast as well. As precautions I was having mammograms and ultrasounds done every 6 months.
In July of 2001 my OBGYN did a core needle biopsy on a suspicious mass on my left breast. The results were negative. In December of 2001 I began to notice a change in the architecture of my left breast but I wasn’t really worried because in the past all of my mammograms and ultrasounds were clear.
I went in for my regular mammogram in January of 2002 and my OBGYN decided to biopsy my left breast again this time using a larger core needle. February 12th I went in for the results and that is when he informed me that I had breast cancer.
After many visits with surgeons, oncologists, plus a barrage of tests. It was determined that I would have to have a lumpectomy. Unfortunately the surgeon couldn’t get clear margins and a month later I had a simple mastectomy of my left breast. Followed by 6 chemotherapy’s and 32 radiation treatments.
If I could offer one piece of advice it would be not to depend totally on the doctor to be the only one checking your breasts. Every woman needs to be responsible for doing a BSE monthly. And notifying there doctor of any changes in her breasts. Have someone teach them the proper way to check there breasts along with when to do it.
I just had a Breast MRI this year because my mammogram showed something that was “probable benign” and that prompted me to see my surgeon with my pictures and he suggested the MRI. I am glad that he did. The test came back negative and now I can breathe for 6 months before I need to have the mammogram repeated.
Also let me add that if a woman has a problem with a facility that she should ask if she can go somewhere else. Don’t feel that you have to return to a place where you feel like they aren’t listening to your concerns.