October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We encourage you or your loved ones to schedule a yearly screening to detect breast cancer. Please read Ms. Nancy Alvarez’s experience with breast cancer.
“I overcame breast cancer 17 years ago; I am not afraid of anything anymore.”
“Early detection saved my life.”
– Nancy Alvarez, Director of Enrollment – Albizu University
On March 20, 2003, I gave birth to my beautiful twins. Little did I know, my world was about to change. I always say that my twins saved me. I was 33 years old at the time, and mammograms were not required until the age of 40. I was breastfeeding one morning and felt a lump. I thought it was from breast milk but decided to call my doctor. My doctor scheduled a mammogram which returned with a negative result. My doctor said, “let’s wait and revisit this in two months; it could be the breastmilk,” but I still insisted it wasn’t the breast milk and had an ultrasound which later confirmed stage 2 breast cancer. I did not waste time and collaborated with my healthcare providers to act quickly; I wanted cancer gone from my body. Within weeks I had my scans, surgery date, and chemotherapy scheduled – I learned that I was the best advocate for my health. Quick action, a positive outlook, and determination helped me to survive. Today I am alive and well, enjoying life with my children.
Self-check, know your body, if you feel something out of the normal, don’t procrastinate, and contact your doctor. Be your own best advocate.
About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 13%) will develop invasive breast cancer in the course of their lifetime. About 2,650 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2021. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 833. (breastcancer.org). Be aware, be proactive, and don’t skip your annual mammogram. Early detection saved my life.
Below are a few links providing free or reduced-cost mammograms.
https://www.freemammograms.org/ https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/nbccedp/screenings.htm https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/nbccedp/index.htm