PRINCETON, WV (WVNS)– The fight against breast cancer is long and difficult, but people can give themselves a jump-start on the battle with early detection.

Cathy Clark works as a receptionist for Princeton Community Hospital. Clark battled breast cancer for over 17 years.

“I went through six chemo treatments and 48 radiation treatments and I was on Tamoxifen for probably ten years and have been great ever since,” Clark said.

Everything was going well until late December 2021. Clark went to the doctor for a mammogram and found out the cancer came back.

When she heard the diagnosis, she was overcome with fear and sadness.

“Of course, first thing you think of is you’re going to lose your life but with modern-day technology, there’s so much medication and treatments out there if you have early detection and get your mammograms faithfully the cure rate is very high,” Clark said.

Dr. Robert Edwards specializes in women’s health at Princeton Community Hospital in Bluefield.
He said getting checked out early can help both doctors and the patient figure out a way to fight it early on.

“Early detection is key. It’s super important to get your mammograms. A mammogram will detect something very early on and in turn, it can affect a person’s survival,” Dr. Edwards said.

Dr. Edwards said many health agencies recommend different ages for a first mammogram but he says it just depends on your health condition.

“I recommend women start getting screened at age 40, and these are for women who are low risk. The average risk is 13 percent,” Dr. Edwards said.