According to the Web site www.breastcancer.org, studies show that regular breast self-exams, combined with an annual exam by a doctor, improves the chances of detecting cancer early — a fact Melissa LeBrun knows all too well.

“I had a mammogram in November. The doctors found a suspicious area on my left breast which was later biopsied,” LeBrun said. “The result was cancer. It was so small that I would never have found it if not for the mammogram.”

LeBrun was scheduled for surgery soon after the diagnosis and has undergone regular chemotherapy treatments since then. She can still recall her reaction upon learning the news.

“My doctor called my husband, Jim, and I into her office and gave us the results,” LeBrun said. “We both cried. I was shocked and scared.”

She was no stranger to cancer. Her mother had died of melanoma at age 43 — the same age LeBrun is now. That sobering reminder keeps her alert and mindful of her health. Though the chemotherapy has caused her to lose all of her hair and occasionally feel ill, LeBrun doesn’t let any of that bother her. She draws strength from those around her and appreciates all the positive feelings and support from friends, family and the community.



For full story, please see the April 15, 2006 edition of The Union-Recorder.

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