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Breast cancer and early detection: UH nurse shares her story

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Caitlin Rimar didn’t think he needed a mammogram by the age of 40. However, her choice to be examined early saved her life.

I met Caitlin Rimmer for the first time on a beautiful spring day in May. She was grateful.It’s just a few hours after we met her, she University Hospital Seedman Cancer Center Avon Campus for Stage 1 Breast Cancer Treatment. Her unexpected journey began a few months ago.

“So my mother had breast cancer, and on March 2, we celebrated her four years without breast cancer,” she said.

It was a milestone that made Caitlin’s husband think about her health.

“(He said)” You need to get a mammogram. “I was like” I’m 36 years old. ” For women, you must be 40 years old to get a mammogram. The mammogram starts at 40. So I didn’t mean to get a mammogram, “Rimar said.

“So they found a tumor,” she shared. “Ultrasonography, then biopsy-and biopsy confirmed that it was cancer.”

Breast cancer in women under the age of 40 was a shock because it is rare.according to Cancer.orgOnly 6-7% of US cases are women under the age of 40.

Rimmer’s family history has increased her chances.

“Women with breast cancer in their families are at increased risk … it’s not a bad idea to start a little earlier,” said Dr. Robert Schenck, a surgical oncologist and breast surgeon at a university hospital.

For Limmer, the idea of ​​”what if” still bothers her.

“What impressed me most was what if I waited until I was 40?” She said. “If you waited another four years and allowed it to grow, what would it be?”

But she strives to stay in the world. Because her calmness is a big part of her job as a level 1 trauma nurse in a college hospital. Currently, the provider she works with is treating her.

“Many people who have been involved in my treatment, I’ve known for years and I love and respect, so I feel very lucky,” Rimmer said. ..

This includes Dr. Schenck, who also treated Limmer’s mother.

“She just has a great attitude and she’s stepping up and doing whatever she has to do,” Dr. Schenck said.

Limmer finds himself on the other side of the bed five days a week for radiation therapy. It’s a rough schedule, but she especially has support from the love of her life.

“(He) is the greatest human being on the planet,” Rimmer said.

Early detection saved her life. Now, as a co-survivor with her mother, she is more determined than ever to spread the word about breast cancer awareness.

“So, as a health care provider, as someone watching people wait … Don’t wait. Don’t wait. Go to the doctor. If you hate doctors, but you don’t have white coat syndrome, you can’t trust them. Get a second opinion. Early detection of any illness, better prevention, better prognosis, “Rimmer said.

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