BRYAN, Texas — For Angela Throne, this Breast Cancer Awareness Month hits closer to home.
“You see the pink shoes on the football players and ‘Pink Out Days’ at different places and while I was aware of breast cancer, and I was aware of how much funding they need to keep up with technology and medical progress, it never had struck home to me,” said Angela Throne, a breast cancer patient at St. Joseph Health.
A mother of two, Throne was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer back in July.
She has since undergone surgery and is currently undergoing radiation treatment at St. Joseph Health in Bryan.
“I turned 40 this past year and I went to my primary care doctor for my annual check-up and he told me I had reached the magic number, I was 40 and it was time for me to get a mammogram," said Throne. "So, first time ever went got my mammogram and we were able to find I had a tumor that turned out to be stage 1 breast cancer."
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
According to the World Health Organization, close to 2.5 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer and over 680,000 died worldwide in 2020. It’s a disease where awareness and early detection are critical in a patient's survival, and it all starts with good breast health.
“It's important to understand your own breasts and know how they look and what's normal, what's abnormal," said Dr. Jamie Pawlowski, a radiation oncologist at St. Joseph Health. "For example, normally, 'Is your nipple protruding? Is it inverted?' Because those are the types of things that if you notice changes, it's important to bring that to the attention of your provider.”
While in theory there is no way to prevent a breast cancer diagnosis, Dr. Pawlowski says having a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of all cancers.
“In terms of prevention, it really is healthy lifestyles and that includes avoiding excess weight gain, because it's been shown that increased body weight is linked to breast cancer, specifically after a woman undergoes menopause,” said Dr. Pawlowski.
Throne is now encouraging all women who have held out on getting their yearly mammogram to schedule an appointment as soon as possible
“I hope that more women will go get those mammograms done," said Throne. "It’s not as scary as all the stories that you’ve heard. The technology has made it not very painful at all. Not painful at all actually."
To schedule a mammogram at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center College Station, interested patients may call 979-207-3049 or visit online here.
To schedule a mammogram at St. Joseph Health, visit here.
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