As we grow older, we learn to understand that life happens quickly. Aly Newel learned just how quickly things could happen when she was screened for, diagnosed with, and received breast cancer treatment, all within 22 days.
After losing her mother to breast cancer, Aly devotedly underwent her mammograms as recommended since turning 30 years old. In early 2016, she suddenly realized that she had missed her annual appointment by nearly six months. She quickly made an appointment, not thinking too much about the lapse as everything felt normal.
“My general practitioner told me that the test had detected abnormal cells in my left breast and that she was referring me to a surgeon,” Aly shared. “It wasn’t more than a couple of days before I was with the breast surgeon in absolute shock at how quickly this had happened. With everything that happened with my mom, I was scared.”
Aly soon received the biopsy results that quickly filled her with dread as she learned she had breast cancer. Luckily, the ductal carcinoma in-situ was in the early stages and completely treatable.
“I was stunned,” Aly reflected. “How can he have just told me that I have breast cancer, yet it is curable? Honestly, it took me a while to get my head around that.”
Before she could fully wrap her head around the news, Aly had a hook wire insertion and lumpectomy.
“These operations sound really scary, but they aren’t at all,” Aly said. “The surgeon came to see me after the operation and told me that everything had gone really well and that the cancer was gone.”
Aly felt amazing – pain-free and thrilled to be rid of the nasty disease. She had zero pain and only a little scar on her left breast for which to remember the whirlwind experience. With just a single dose of radiotherapy, she closed this scary yet short chapter.
“I would like to share my story because as a mother of two daughters, I feel that it’s really important to promote early detection by encouraging women to become familiar with the regular feel of their breasts and participate in the screening programs that they are eligible for,” Aly stated. “I also think it’s important for people to realize that being diagnosed with breast cancer doesn’t necessarily have a bad outcome if it’s found early.”
Life happens quickly, and sometimes it is easy to forget the small steps that make a big difference – like scheduling regular mammograms. Luckily, the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) has you covered. Follow NFCR on social media or check out our Cancer-Fighting Lifestyle Tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.
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