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Lauren - A Survivor's Story

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Lauren and her mother are both cancer free after surgery.

Two years ago my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and found out she was BRCA positive. After a lot of difficult discussions she made the brave decision to undergo a bilateral mastectomy. It was the hardest decision she ever had to make, but it was a life-saving one. She underwent radiation, but over two years and several surgeries later she is doing better than ever!

Last year, at 24 years old, I found out I was also BRCA positive. So, I decided to meet with a breast surgeon to see what steps I should take. He decided it would be best to get a mammogram, sonogram, and MRI, but that's when we received the news that I too had breast cancer.

My family was in complete shock.

Luckily, it was only cancer cells and considered stage-zero cancer, but the news was still frightening. The doctor said if I were removed the cells that I’d still have about a 85% chance of the cancer coming back. I decided that I couldn't live my life in fear of that, so I too underwent a bilateral mastectomy. It was an extremely difficult decision at such a young age, but I know it was the best decision. It's been a little over a year since my surgery and I am feeling great.

I have one more reconstructive surgery to go and I am done! I am so thankful to have such an amazing breast surgeon and plastic surgeon. They have made this process so much easier for me. Most of all I am thankful for my amazing support team (my family, boyfriend and friends) who have been by my side since the very beginning. I am truly blessed to have had the support I did and that this was found so early on. Now my mom and I are cancer free and couldn't be happier!

For everyone out there, don't be afraid to go for screening and get tested. The earlier they find things the better the chances are of fighting it. God bless & stay strong!

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