"When you first find out-- it's like, 'Oh my gosh!' You pray a lot," breast cancer survivor Rosinda Hoehns added.
Two women, at two different stages of life, one in her forties; the other in her seventies. Neither woman had a family history of breast cancer, but two breast cancer diagnoses came nevertheless.
"Never had a mammogram though. I was already 44. I just kept putting it off-- for years," Rosinda said.
"I was very, very fortunate because it wasn't there a year ago-- it was found through a routine mammogram," Myrna said.
Both women say they were lucky. Their cancer was caught in the very early stages of the disease. Rosinda's was found in the non-invasive stage called Stage Zero. Neither case had a visible sign of cancer-- no lump, no discharge, no changes in the skin. Doctors say the only way to catch the cancer this early is through screening.
"I have no idea how much if I had waited another year or six months-- it could have been a different story," Myrna said.
Myrna's message is one many doctors hope women will hear. According to doctors at Texas Oncology, screening detects cancers early when chances for a cure are the highest. Fifty percent of cancers are detected through screening patients without any symptoms.
"A lot of us Hispanics tend to think, 'Well, we don't need to go to the doctor.' My mom always said that," Rosinda said. "I would tell them to go. Go get it done before it's too late."
Despite the incredible strides researchers have made in finding and treating breast cancer recently, it continues to be the most common cancer in women. There are approximately 230,000 new cases and 40,000 deaths every year in the United States. So, it's important to remember that for every Myrna and Rosinda there are stories that don't have happy endings. That's why there's a major push to fund new research to eradicate cancer at an early stage so more stories end like these.
"I just knew that it was caught very early and with the right treatment that everything would be fine," Myrna said. " I knew that I just needed to be strong and look at it that way."
"I just had to remember that someone else had it worse than me," Rosinda said. "I was the lucky one."
Both Myrna and Rosinda are under the care of local oncologist, Dr. Srini Reddy at Texas Oncology. In Dr. Reddy's honor, the American Cancer Society is hosting the Pink Ribbon 3 Mile Race and Run Walk/Run on Friday, June 27th. Dr. Reddy is being honored for his commitment to breast cancer patients as well as passion for research and medical advancements. Cattle Barons Ball committee members nominated him.
Dr. Reddy will help Cattle Barons Ball choose a breast cancer researcher currently funded by American Cancer Society to send the restricted gift donation towards. Participants can register today at www.cattlebaronsballamarillo.org or at www.lonestarrunnersclub.net.
Pink Ribbon Race & Fun Walk/Run
- Friday, June 27th
- 7 p.m.
- Medi Park
First 150 participants receive t-shirt and goody bag
Race Materials Pickup
Thursday, June 26th
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. & 5 to 7 p.m.
American Cancer Society, 3915 Bell St.