Breast cancer patient shares important lesson about getting mammograms

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 7:22 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - This October, a recent breast cancer patient is taking it upon herself to share an important message: Do not skip your mammograms.

Lori Stushek tells a common tale.

“I realized I was six years late in having a mammogram. During that six years I could come up with excuses every single year for not going in. Come to find out, I waited too long.”

Lori was diagnosed in June 2021 with breast cancer. She’s now warning everyone she meets to listen to their bodies and their health care providers.

The pandemic has played a huge role in delaying these important screenings. Now, Marshfield Clinic Health System staff are urging women to catch up.

“The sooner we can diagnose, the more likely it can be cured and treated,” said Shelly Barg, Director of Clinic Services and Radiology Manager at Marshfield Clinic Health System. “Schedules were broadened to get them in, meeting their timelines. Weekends were offered to come in because it’s that important to get them to come in.”

If you do happen to get the news that changes your life, nurse navigators, like Rebecca Rodebaugh, are standing by to walk with you every stay of the way.

“They have to make a lot of big decisions and it’s very helpful, along with their loved ones, to have a support person that’s kind of a go-between between the doctors and the staff and the patient,” said Rodebaugh. “I’m usually on people’s speed dial and I don’t mind!”

“Every time I come in here for my treatment, she will show up!” said Stushek, referring to Rodebaugh. “It’s nice to know that she’s going to be there and I can lean on her and ask her questions.”

If you’re reading this and you’re waiting for a sign to make that call, let this be it.

“Don’t do what I did,” said Stushek. “I waited too long and I have a disease. I have cancer. I have a treatable disease. I’m going to beat this. But not everybody beats it, so we have to vigilant, we have to take care of ourselves.”

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