Each October, we come together to raise awareness and show our support for people effected by breast cancer. This year is especially important to bring light to this topic, as the Coronavirus has put a pause on the care, fundraising, campaigning, and research of this deadly disease. According to Weill Cornell Medicine, breast cancer is the #1 cancer in women in the US. Although it’s not as common, men can also be impacted by breast cancer and account for approximately 1 out of every 100 breast cancers diagnosed. For these reasons, we want to raise awareness around the importance of early screening. With early detection, the chance of curing the cancer is over 90%.
Our team at Professional Physical Therapy wants to take this chance to recognize a very strong member of our own team, Liz Whittingham, who was willing to share her journey through breast cancer.
Knowing the importance of frequent checkups, Liz has been going for annual checkups for as long as she can remember. Starting with a scare in 1992, Liz had benign lumps removed from her breast. It August of 2011 when she was notified that her doctor would like to see her for additional tests. After many, many tests, Liz was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common type of breast cancer.
She underwent a lumpectomy, where the surgeon removed the cancerous lump, as well as the lymph nodes to ensure all margins were clear. Following this surgery, Liz underwent radiation therapy with a radiation oncologist for 6 weeks, every single day after work. To this day, she is prescribed an oral chemotherapy that is recommended to take for 10 years. She continues to have routine appointments with her oncologist, gynecologist and surgeon, as well as ultrasounds and MRIs every 6 months to ensure she remains in the clear.
As hard as it may be to share these personal stories, its women like Liz who motivate others to stay positive. The strength is takes to overcome this type of diagnosis is unimaginable for an outsider.
Early detection is the best way to beat this type of cancer, so be sure to participate in monthly personal exams as well as recurring checkup appointments with a licensed medical professional. Don’t let COVID-19 keep you from important annual exams with your healthcare providers.
Thank you to Liz for sharing your story, you are a warrior and a survivor and we are honored to have you on our team!
Do you know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer? For more information, visit https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/have-i-got-breast-cancer/signs-symptoms-breast-cancer.