One in seven women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. October is Breast Cancer awareness month, so we spoke with a woman who explained why it’s so important to get your mammogram.

Kris Gill was diagnosed with breast cancer a little over a year ago. She had been putting off her mammogram, but finally decided one day to get checked out.

“I had missed my mammogram the year before,” said Gill. “I’m 63 years old, you don’t miss at any time. A year ago, September 29th, was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And my attitude with that was, okay what do I do next.”

The diagnosis was just the start of a journey that no one wants to take.

“We started with jumping in October having the lumpectomy. Then moving on, a year later I’ve gone through chemo, I’ve gone through radiation, and I’ve got two infusions left.”

Medical oncologist Dr. Manal Robin says treatments vary depending on the patient.

“There is other targetable treatments where we fine tune the treatment to the particular type of cancer,” said Robin. “And this is where the art is. You don’t just give one treatment to fit all. But you try to personalize the treatment of breast cancer.”

Dr. Robin says with the new technology that is out, it makes working in this field rewarding.

“The majority of our patients, I can say 75% of our patients, they are survivors,” said Robin. “With the blessing of the new mammogram techniques and MRI of the breast, we get to diagnose this cancer really early.”

But the first step to surviving breast cancer, is getting checked regularly. Something Gill says you should do even if you don’t have any symptoms.

“Sometimes they say you might have night sweats, or you might have pain, or find a big lump, I had none of those,” said Gill. “Trust your mammogram. And this is the month to go do it right now.”

Mammograms are recommended yearly for women starting at age 40. To schedule an appointment to get one, you can call the McMahon Center for Breast Health at 250-5846. Those who get a mammogram will get a free small gift as well.