"Pals for Life" Saved a Life
October 20th means it's "Pals for Life" day, and time again for TV20 to remind women and their pals across North Central Florida to do their monthly self breast examination.
This is more than just a run of the mill reminder for women. One viewer called to say this reminder saved her life.
Pam Duey said that she started doing regular self breast exams after hearing Paige Beck talk about Pals for Life on air.
It was during one of her routine self exams that she found a suspicious lump.
Duey said, "It turned out to be breast cancer and I just had to deal with it."
After finding the lump on June 20th, Duey was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer in August.
On September 24th, she underwent a double mastectomy. She said, "I felt devastated, like why me? I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't have a family history..."
Four weeks after surgery, Duey said she's cancer free and healing well physically and emotionally.
She credits Pals for Life with catching the cancer early. Duey said, "It has saved me from more advanced cancer and possibly death."
Duey said when she first starting doing self exams, she didn't know what to look for, which is a concern that many women share.
But Dr. Tina Lam said it's all about knowing your body. She said, "When a woman feels her own breast, the goal is to be familiar with her breast."
Dr. Lam said that familiarity is how you'll know when something is different. She also stressed the importance of having regular mammograms in addition to self breast exams. She said, "I think a lot of women for breast screening think that if I get my mammogram every year, I don't need to do my breast exam. Or women on the other hand will say, I do my breast exam so I don't need a mammogram. And I would say you have to do both."
For Pam Duey, that advice made all the difference and she hopes her story will remind everyone of just how important awareness is.
She said, "If you catch it early, you have a great chance of surviving and not being sick anymore."
Call 1-800-611-6913 for your free "Pals for Life" kit from North Florida Regional Medical Center and TV20.
As Pam Duey said, it could save your life.
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