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Killeen breast cancer survivor encourages others to get tested

Posted at 5:26 PM, Oct 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-06 19:12:09-04

It's Breast Cancer Awareness month, a time to recognize a disease that's affected women particularly and in fewer cases, though still prevalent, men.

It's an epidemic that doctors say affects millions worldwide but has a high survival rate if caught on time.

"It has overall at all stages of breast cancer over 90 percent survival rate at 5 years, at 10 years it's about 84 percent... so it’s a very curable disease," said Dr. Sripriya Santhanam, an oncologist at Baylor Scott and White at AdventHealth Central Texas.

This is why Rosa Valez a Killeen resident who recently overcame the disease said it's important to get tested before it's too late.

“My type of cancer was invasive ductal carcinoma, I'm so glad that I'm a survivor, at the beginning you feel fear ... oh my god, what’s going on now how do I tell my kids I have cancer," said Valez.

Rosa was diagnosed on the 18th of December 2020 and rang the bell for being cancer free in July of this year.

Her story is similar to many women though they are all unique. Rosa shared her story to pay it forward this Breast Cancer Awareness month.

It's her way of letting other women who are battling the disease, know that it'll be okay.

"I wanna do something for the Hispanic community because a lot of Hispanic women need someone who can encourage them, let them know ... you know like you can do this…this journey looks so long when you start, but now I look back and I say I can't believe, it's almost two years and I’m almost finished with this," said Valez.

Anyone in Central Texas interested in getting a mammogram can call 254-519-8545, AdventHealth Rollins Brook is offering discounted and free mammograms.