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.

Comments (5)
  1. Ron says:

    Congratulations Sandra, on your successful operation and the great news on your healthy future.

    I am sure that your disclosure of your cancer and allowing the viewers to experience some of your decisions and treatment, will help others that have cancer too.

    I look forward to continuing watching you and David for many, many years on KCAL 9 news.

  2. Brandon Woodward says:

    Congratulations on ‘Beating the Odds’ Dear Lady 🙂
    Don’t EVER give up! Too many friends and loved ones like this world better with you in it 🙂

    Be Happy and stay Healthy. Live Well 🙂

    ~Brandon 🙂

  3. Charles Volcher says:

    Dear Sandra

    Please get well soon I know that Breast Cancer is the number one killer among women today and too many good looking women like you Sandra are dieing
    too soon. So take care of yourself Sandra and may God Bless You and your Family.

  4. L Val says:

    Sandra, I was shocked to hear your health news, I too was diagnosed in July 2010. I had surgery, chemo, and radiation. it was a very difficult time and you feel like it is only happening to you. By sharing your story I hope it helps women to see that mammograms are important. if women think that a mammogram is scary, finding a lump that turns out to be cancer is much worse. Never take your health for granted viewers.
    Stay strong and positive
    See you at 2pm

  5. K.H. says:

    I wish Sandra nothing but a healthy future and succcessful treatment for her cancer.

    It is my hope that the more women talk about their experiences being diagnosed with breast cancer, some relevant truths will begin to emerge about the causes behind it. Sadly, the single most common denominator I have learned among the hundreds of survivors I have met since I, myself, was diagnosed 3 years ago, is their use of the Birth Control Pill for more than 5 years or use of fertility treatments. Why do we not ever hear about this and why is the only place I ever read about it was in the Pill Packet in my medicine cabinet after my doctors told me not to take it anymore. When I asked why they said, “because it causes breast cancer”. I was, and still am, SICK, when I think that it may have been preventable.

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