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Breast Cancer survivor defies myths of disease

Posted at 11:38 PM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 23:38:48-04

1 in 8 women in the US will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer at some point in their lifetime, according to the Susan G. Komen foundation. Thanks to modern medicine and technology more lives have been saved. Even though more women are surviving the disease, there are still many myths about Breast Cancer.

 

Marcia Zbikowski has been a nurse for over 40 years and has preached the importance of early detection to her patients, friends and family members.

 

“It’s much easier to treat cancer if we detect it early,” said Zbikowski. “I always say the discomfort you feel is maybe a few seconds and it’s worth it just to take a couple of seconds of pain to prevent you from having to go through possibly chemotherapy. “

 

Zbikowski gives this advice not just because of her background as a nurse, but because early detection saved her own life.

 

“This could have very well been missed,” said Zbikowski. “It was small and the location was hard to detect so thank goodness I had a good radiologist that picked it up and I was treated early.”

 

Even though Zbikowski is a nurse, she didn’t think she would ever get breast cancer.

 

“Probably the last one that think I’d get cancer,” said Zbikowski. “I’m one of those people that doesn’t have any family history at all.”

 

A common misconception for many women that not having any family history of breast cancer means you’re in the clear.

 

“I think Marcia’s case in particular shows you that is truly a myth,” said Dr. Kristen Fernandez with MedStar Franklin Square. “A little more than 75% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of breast cancer.”

 

Every woman is potentially at risk of getting breast cancer. Regular screenings and early detection can help save lives.

 

 “I think there’s such a fear in getting that diagnosis of breast cancer,” said Fernandez. “But it is really a survivable disease and the earlier we detect it, the less treatment you need and the better chance we have of curing it.”