Christa Dean Hild
Carlene Harper went in for a screening mammogram. That test lead to another, which helped doctors identify a very small breast cancer.
"There was not a lump, no discharge, no dimpling. The nipple wasn't inverted. I was just normal as far as I knew," Harper explains.
Harper's cancer was found early. She says "because it was so small it was not in the lymph nodes."
General Surgeon Dr. Glenn Summers says, "Early detection is really, really important because it gives us an opportunity to have a greater chance of cure, and it leaves all the options as far as treatment on the table."
Harper had a lumpectomy. She's now going through chemotherapy with radiation still to come.
She's making it her mission to educate other women on early detection.
"Your life doesn't end with cancer. It's just something you take care of," she explains.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Bay Medical-Sacred Heart Outpatient Center is offering extended hours for digital mammography. The facility will remain open until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in October and will open on Saturday, October 13th from 8 a.m. until noon. Patients who get a mammogram in October will get a free breast cancer T-shirt.