Breast cancer diagnosis brings a range of emotions. There are many women that can tell their stories of breast cancer survival that they attribute directly to early detection. A recent online article highlighted a woman determined to be an advocate for early breast cancer detection. According to the story On Dec. 20, Kuzniewski of Frederick MD was in the parking lot of Giant Food (a grocery store loading groceries into her car, when she received the news that would alter her life. The 41-year-old mother of three young children said she was anticipating a clean bill of health, but her doctor’s voice was monotone and serious as he began to discuss her diagnosis. “Of course, I burst into tears,” she said. “Luckily, I had a girlfriend with me. Needless to say I haven’t been back to that grocery store.” Kuzniewski was only 40 years old at the time of diagnosis, she had no breast cancer history within the family. Her breast cancer was detected during her very first routine mammogram.“I went in for my yearly gynecological visit, and my doctor recommended the mammogram,” she said. “He didn’t feel anything with the examination. I didn’t feel anything, and I wasn’t in pain. It was just pure luck.”
Breast Cancer Survivor Tells Her Story
Six months later she underwent a bilateral mastectomy (removing both breast) with immediate breast reconstruction. “If I would have waited six more months for my mammogram, I wouldn’t of had any options [because] the cancer was so invasive,” Kuzniewski said. “If anybody can hear my voice, early detection is the key to my recovery. The one thing I want them to take away from my situation is that early detection is the key.” The specific age in which a woman should begin getting mammograms has been debated for the last few years. The National Cancer Institute recommendation is that women 40 and older get a mammogram every one to two years.
Breast Cancer Early Detection Increases Patient Options
Dr. Seify treats many women who have the same or very similar situation as Kuzniewski. Early detection can allow patients more options not only with the type of breast surgery but also with the breast reconstruction options available. Immediate breast reconstruction following a breast cancer diagnosis and surgery is an option that works well for many women; however, it is not an option in every situation. Dr. Seify educates his cosmetic breast surgery patients about the value of early breast cancer detection. This includes patients who have had breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction. It is important that patients realize they should follow the recommendations of their primary care physician with respect to breast cancer screening.