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On April 28, Fox Business Network anchor Gerri Willis became one of over 307,000 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year.
“This is not a club I asked to be a member of. But there you have it,” she said in a Fox News op-ed.
Her tumor is a somewhat rare type called lobular — representing 10 to 15 percent of breast cancer cases and is difficult to detect because it’s a shape-shifter.
In fact, Willis had a mammogram done six months earlier that came up negative. With that in mind she offers this advice.
“Please check yourself. Give yourself a thorough exam regularly,” she said. “For guidance check out the Susan G. Komen website. Watch for changes in your breasts. An inverted nipple, discharge or new pain in a spot that doesn’t go away are signs of potential problems. Self-examination doesn’t replace mammograms, not by a long shot. It’s simply an extra step you should do to stay safe.”
She went on to report that her chances of recovery are high — the tumor was detected early at Stage 2 and will respond to many types of treatment.
“But I hope and pray that other women will remember despite all the other demands of their lives — the kids, the job, the husband — to regularly examine themselves. There is no substitute,” she said.
Willis will begin her treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which will consist of a mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy, and possibly radiation.
“I am ready to get started,” she concluded. “Because getting started is the first step towards getting better, which is something I fully intend to do.”
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