WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (4/16/13) - Webster County Relay for life will be hosting its 2013 event on Friday May 30, at Trojan Field in Dixon.
As we prepare for the event, The Journal-Enterprise would like to take an opportunity to honor a few Webster County residents who have won their battle with cancer. Their stories are all different, but each one is an inspiration.
Every survivor I have spoken to this year stressed the importance of having anything unusual or unexplained checked out by your doctor, but for Webster County resident Linda Tapp, it was her dedication to having checkups before anything was wrong that may have saved her life.
“I have always done an annual mammogram,” Tapp said. The mobile mammogram unit is always set up in front of the Webster County Extension Office where she works, so it was convenient for her to just step outside and get checked out.
“In 2010, following my mammogram, I received a letter telling me that I needed further tests,” she said. “I had a second mammogram done and then they sent me for an ultrasound.”
The doctor told Tapp that she had breast cancer, and then she was faced with deciding her future.
In breast cancer cases, there are two common forms of treatment, depending on the severity. In a lumpectomy doctors attempt to remove only the cancerous lump, while in mastectomy one or both breasts are removed.
“Because of the time I would have to be off work, I decided to go with the lumpectomy,” Tapp said.
Things went smoothly, but when she returned to get her clearance to go back to work, doctors told her that they had gotten all of the cancer, but due to the type they recommended she go ahead and have the mastectomy.
After the mastectomy, the surgeon told her that it was a good thing they had gone ahead with it, because the cancer had spread.
“I consider myself cancer free since September 2010,” she said. “I didn’t have chemo or radiation, and I wasn’t on any medication.”
In 2012, at a regular checkup, doctors found traces of pre-cancerous cells., which they removed.
“I am an advocate of mammograms and catching it early,” Tapp said. “It’s easier on you and it’s easier on your family.
“Self exams are good. But if anything changes, get it checked out. You can’t tell by yourself.”
This, however, is still not a replacement for an annual mammogram, which Tapp really stressed that everyone start doing.
J-E News Editor
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