Breast cancer survivor urges women to advocate for their health

Rebecca Saroyan was diagnosed six years ago at stage 3-A — a 4 centimeter tumor, cancer behind her lymph nodes and under the collarbone. (WBNS)
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And it means more than the color pink — it means advocating for your health.

The American Cancer Society recommendation is for women with normal risk for breast cancer to start mammograms at age 40. It is always best to talk with your doctor about your family history and your personal health.

Rebecca Saroyan was diagnosed six years ago at stage 3-A — a 4 centimeter tumor, cancer behind her lymph nodes and under the collarbone.

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"It was kind of surreal. I was 30. You don't expect that kind of diagnosis at such a young age,” she said.

And with a young family, Saroyan says they motivated her will to push through treatment.

"I think the most important thing for women is to know their bodies because we are the owners of our bodies and we will know if there's something abnormal we will know if something's not right,” she said.

Saroyan urges women to advocate for their health with options including 3D mammography at Adena Regional Medical Center and in the community using Adena's mobile mammography unit.

"I feel super healthy now,” she said. “It’s been six years now. I feel mentally and emotionally ready to start looking at reconstruction."

A mammogram is one of the best ways to catch early stage breast cancer, which can be when it is most treatable.

Adena Health System offers digital mammograms at five locations. During a traditional mammogram, an X-ray produces a picture of the breasts on film. There is also digital mammography, which takes a digital picture that is stored and analyzed on a computer.

Mammograms are offered at Adena Regional Medical Center and Adena Health Center - Western Avenue in Chillicothe; Adena Health Center - Jackson; Adena Health Center - Waverly and Adena Greenfield Medical Center.