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Mammograms Save Lives

Stockbridge, Ga. (October 16, 2020) – Greta Baldwin-Mason is a Care Manager at Piedmont Henry Hospital. Her position requires her to connect patients with resources that are available to them and help them navigate a difficult time in their lives with compassion and care. Five years ago, Baldwin-Mason was on the other side of the equation as she began a battle with breast cancer.

“I went to get my first mammogram and a nodule at the front of my breast was discovered,” Baldwin-Mason said. “Two additional spots were found under my arm and biopsies concluded that it was breast cancer.”

The diagnosis was a shock because Baldwin-Mason had no incidences of breast cancer in her family. At a body scan after the initial diagnosis, it was discovered that she had thyroid cancer as well. As a single mother, she relied on her oldest son, who was 17 at the time, to help care for his younger siblings, a brother, 13, and a sister, 6. Baldwin-Mason had eight months of chemotherapy, followed by radiation treatment for the thyroid cancer.

“It was a crazy, traumatic journey – it still is,” said Baldwin-Mason. “It built a greater sense of faith in me because cancer produces worry and doubt. Faith, hope, and God was most important to me.”

Baldwin-Mason stressed the importance of women performing self-exams regularly and having their annual mammograms.

“If I had just decided to wait until the following year for my first mammogram, who knows what the outcome would have been,” Baldwin-Mason said.

Sabrina Wyllie-Adams, M.D. also reminds women that self-exams are important as well.

“Clinical breast exams and self-breast exams are no longer recommended by the American Cancer Society, but this does not mean they are not useful as many women have found breast cancer when doing their self-breast exams,” said Dr. Wyllie-Adams. “It is important to know your body so you will know when there are changes.”

Each year, Baldwin-Mason takes part in Relay for Life and helps raise awareness for breast cancer in her church. This year, she is also taking part in the American Cancer Society’s 35-mile challenge. She reminds the men in her life that breast cancer can affect males as well and that self-examinations are equally as important for men with large breast tissue.

“I’ll always worry about what the next phase of this journey might be,” Baldwin-Mason said. “However, I am happy that it was discovered when it was and I am happy that I can help raise awareness for others.”

To find out more about scheduling your mammogram, visit piedmont.org/powerinpink.

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