POSTED: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 9:29am
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 9:36am
RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — 230,000 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed last year in the country, but early detection and more effective treatment has meant fewer women are dying from the disease, Na'Tassia Finley has more on one woman's journey.
Cancer free patient Maria Reyes, "In 2005 my mom was diagnosed with cancer, her right side, and I would bring her here for treatment and I knew down the line that I would also be diagnosed with this disease and sure enough it did happen."
At the beginning of this year she was diagnosed with breast cancer, "I was diagnosed with my left breast. I started first with chemo and then I had my operation, the removal of the left breast and radiation."
Reyes is cancer free, she underwent her last radiation treatment just before this interview and she stresses the importance of monitoring one's body. She found the lump and followed up with her doctor immediately, which likely helped her recover from the disease before it reached an advanced, incurable stage.
Oncologist Dr. Balesh Sharma has some advice for women, "They should at least have a breast exam as well as probably a mammogram between the ages of 40 and 50, start mammograms once a year after the age of 50 for sure."
While breast cancer tends to primarily hit women 40 and over, it can affect women much younger, Dr. Sharma says if a woman, at any age, feels a lump that is not going away, she should seek medical attention.
Statistics show that while breast cancer rates are lower in Hispanic women than in other races, breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in Hispanic women.