On World Cancer Day, we celebrate survivors like Cindy Hall who are using their cancer journey to help others. Thanks to a timely mammogram, Cindy considers herself a success story. Read her full story here.
After moving to the East Side of Cincinnati from Virginia, Cindy Hall (pictured above left) made sure she got herself established with a provider. She also scheduled her screening mammogram, and that turned out to be a great decision.
“I was told they found a tumor,” Cindy reveals. “Right away, the nurse navigator was there to answer my questions. It was wonderful and not a bad experience. I never felt that I was alone, and I feel I have one of the best breast surgeons.”
Nicole Melchior (pictured above right), DO, a Mercy Health physician and surgical breast oncologist, is Cindy’s doctor.
“From what Dr. Melchior told me, the mammogram caught the tumor at its smallest size, as mammograms can do. It was so small, it hadn’t gotten into the lymph nodes,” says Cindy. “If I have issues, I deal with them and I asked, ‘How soon can I get the surgery?’ Dr. Melchior made it happen quickly.”
Dr. Melchior performed Cindy’s lumpectomy in February 2020. Because the mammogram caught Cindy’s cancer early, she was able to avoid chemotherapy, although she did need radiation treatment.
“The stars were aligned for me,” says Cindy. “I had radiation and now I’m all done with that and feeling fine.”
Because Cindy has the BRCA2 gene mutation, which carries a risk of reoccurrence, she will have regular mammograms and breast MRIs to monitor her health going forward.
“I feel like I’m a success story, thanks to the mammogram. If it hadn’t been caught, this would be a different story. The lumpectomy kept it from growing and spreading,” says Cindy.
Now Cindy is on a mission to convince her friends to have their screenings.
“Life is such a precious gift, I’m not someone who’s going to squander it. I tell my friends, please, please don’t wait to have your screening.”
And for those women who worry about having a screening during the COVID-19 pandemic or are concerned that it’s uncomfortable, Cindy has a message.
“With all the precautions being taken, it’s safe. Everything is disinfected thoroughly, and the staff is all masked up. It doesn’t take long and what it can provide you with is priceless, even if it’s just reassurance.”