Reporting Sandra Mitchell
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — One in eight women in the United States will get breast cancer and on Aug. 30, KCAL9’s own Sandra Mitchell underwent a lumpectomy.
Sandra was diagnosed with breast cancer in August and decided to have a lumpectomy 12 days after receiving the news to have the cancerous tumor removed from her chest.
Deciding what procedure she wanted to have was a very personal decision, but she felt that a lumpectomy, also known as a partial mastectomy, was right for her.
“With cancer there are so many variables and the doctor can make recommendations, but there is never a guarantee that it will work and that you will get better,” she said.
The use of mammograms has helped doctors detect breast cancer earlier and many of the women diagnosed are choosing lumpectomy procedures.
The National Cancer Institute cites recent studies that show women with small breast cancers who are treated with breast saving surgery plus radiation instead of mastectomy are just as likely to be alive and cancer free 20 years later.
“It’s been 40 years since one very large study proved this. If you have a lumpectomy, keep your breast and radiate the rest of the breast tissue versus mastectomy. The survival and the recurrence of that cancer is identical,” Sandra’s doctor, Dr. Funk said.
During the 90-minute procedure, the doctor removed the tumor, some surrounding tissue, and several lymph nodes to determine if the cancer had spread.
A few days later, Sandra returned to her doctor’s office to get the results of her lumpectomy.
“Well I have amazing news. Stage one! Stage one, clear margins, negative nodes, so we got everything we wanted,” her doctor said.
The oncotype dx test taken after the lumpectomy also showed that she has a very small chance of recurrence.
Although the cancer is gone and her surgery is over, Sandra knows that fighting cancer will be a part of her life forever.