Story of Hope: ‘Not enough emphasis on these exams’

Story of Hope - Joy KoehlerThere is a big emphasis on women to get mammograms to help detect breast cancer. For many, they have been effective, but not for all as one of our PSA team members found out. Crew Pay Analyst Joy Koehler pushes for an additional, simpler test that helped lead to her breast cancer diagnosis. Here is her Story of Hope:

I am a survivor of breast cancer and I feel not enough emphasis is put on self-examinations. I had a normal mammogram, but because I had felt a lump, they did an ultra sound. I had a fast-growing aggressive cancer. If I had waited a year for a mammogram, I do not believe things would have turned out so well for me.

There is no history of breast cancer in my family or any kind of cancer. As part of my treatment, I took two chemo drugs every two weeks and a Nuelasta shot the day after each chemo. Today, I am cancer-free, but I am still monitored with blood tests, self-exams and mammograms.

My advice is to do self-exams monthly at the same time every month. Notify your doctor right away, if you feel a lump. If possible, ask for an ultrasound. That’s how they found mine.