Sandra Donnelly of Stoughton booked a mammogram while the breast screening bus was visiting a neighbouring town.
The appointment was effortless to schedule and attend, and Sandra was sure that receiving her first mammogram would be just as simple.
But when the technicians detected an abnormality, her day went from relaxed to hectic.
She was sent directly to Regina for a second mammogram, followed by an ultrasound and a biopsy. She was told that she had stage 1 breast cancer.
Sandra met with her doctor at the Allan Blair Cancer Centre to determine what her treatments would entail. She looks back on the experience with great humour, “You face the doctor across their desk and ask, ‘What can I do?’ Tell me to stand on my head and I’ll do it.”
But she knew she was in good hands and her doctor laid out an effective treatment plan.
Sandra received a lumpectomy to remove the tumour, which was no bigger than the size of a sunflower seed. The margins were clean and her prognosis was good. She had six weeks of radiation therapy to ensure all the cancerous cells were eliminated, followed by hormone therapy for five years to help prevent a recurrence.
Even now, more than 20 years cancer-free, Sandra keeps up her mammogram exams and she encourages other women to have their regular screenings as well.
“Don’t wait for the lump. Get your baseline mammogram done early. It’s the responsible thing to do – and it’s easy!”
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