Cancer survivor says being proactive is the best cure

The Dougherty County Health Department's invited Dr. Kumund Rangaraj, an oncologist with Phoebe Cancer Center, to speak about breast cancer

One out of eight women will develop breast cancer, according to doctors.

Bobbie Todd was one of them.

After a mammogram, Todd received the call that she had breast cancer. Today she's been cancer free for 14 years.

She attended the Dougherty County Health Department's Lunch and Learn about breast cancer. Alongside doctors, Todd promoted the importance of early detection. Breast cancer is main cause of death in women ages 40 to 59 according to the Health Department's speaker, Dr. Kumund Rangaraj, an oncologist with Phoebe Cancer Center.

"When you first meet the patients they're scared to death and don't know what to do," says Regina Martel, a Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator with Phoebe.

Todd and doctors say the key to fighting breast cancer is being proactive. Exercising and maintaining a healthy diet are just a few things you can do. Sue Ewings with the Dougherty County Health Department says women should begin annual mammograms at the age of 40. She says you should start sooner if you have a family history of breast cancer.

"200,000 women each year are diagnosed with breast cancer and out of that 200,000, 40,000 of those women die," says Ewing.

And she says it's because most women don't do monthly self examinations.

"You know the changes. If you do the breast exam every month or so, you will know when there are some changes," says Todd.

The next step: "If there's a problem found then the physician or health care provider could refer them for an ultra sound or mammogram to see what's going on," says Ewing.

If you are diagnosed, survivor Bobbie Todd says stay proactive. Afterall, she's a survivor.

"God gave me the grace and the strength to go through it and I just give him all the glory because I'm here today," says Todd.

For more information on how to perform a self-examination, call Susan G. Komen for the Cure at 1-877-GO-KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) or visit the organization's website.