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NBC4: Story of hope - A mammogram saved my life

Deepa Halaharvi, DO, is a breast surgeon with OhioHealth Breast and Cancer Surgeons. She spends her days working with breast cancer patients, which includes calling them to let them know if they have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

But last year, just days after her 42nd birthday, Dr. Halaharvi was the one on the other end of the phone.

She had gone in for her yearly screening mammogram. The mammogram revealed a mass, which led to a biopsy. 24 hours after the biopsy, Dr. Halaharvi received the call. It was breast cancer - invasive ductal carcinoma.

Fortunately for Dr. Halaharvi, the cancer was caught early and was treatable. All thanks to that screening mammogram.

“Mammogram also catches cancer at a very early stage, before a woman can feel it,” Dr. Halaharvi recently told NBC4 reporter Jennifer Bullock. “So the surgeries are less invasive, and the prognosis is much better.”

OhioHealth recommends that women follow the current National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines below. Mammography has proven to save lives through early detection.

· Screening mammogram beginning at age 40 for all women

· An annual clinical breast exam by a doctor

· Monthly breast self-exams

· Specific mammogram screening guidelines can be discussed with your OhioHealth physician

However, women should talk to their doctors about the screening that is right for their individual needs. Women at high risk for breast cancer may need more frequent or earlier mammogram screening. Dr. Halaharvi says all women need to have breast self-awareness.

“What that means is women need to know what’s normal for them. So younger women come to me and say they have lumpy, bumpy breasts, ‘What do I do with it?’ I say, ‘You need to know what that lumpy, bumpiness for you is, so if anything changes, you need to bring your attention to your doctor,” said Dr. Halaharvi.

You can watch NBC4’s interview with Dr. Halaharvi above. For information on how to schedule your mammogram, click here.