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A Cancer Survivor's Story

A year ago, Melina Thorpe, RN, OCN, director of Cancer Services at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, was writing an article about her cousin Carol’s fight against cancer

Today, she is reaching out to educate the community about her own fight against the disease. Thorpe was diagnosed with breast cancer Oct. 5, 2009.

“I am now one out of eight women who are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime,” Thorpe says. “In my heart, I always hoped because of what I do I would have been given a get out of jail free card on this one.”

With the diagnosis, Thorpe resolved to do everything she could to make sure that women never say that they are “too busy” to get their annual mammogram. Thorpe was originally scheduled for her mammogram in September, but had to reschedule. Like so many women, on the day of her appointment, Oct. 1, many other things were clamoring for her attention. She almost rescheduled for after the holidays!

“A little voice inside told me not to reschedule the appointment this time,” Thorpe says. “I hope more women listen to that little voice of reason inside each one of us. It may have saved my life.” Test results came back quickly.

A small tumor had developed since Thorpe’s last mammogram in 2008. Although her doctors assured her that she would be fine, like many cancer patients, Thorpe only heard every other word after the confirmation of her cancer diagnosis.

Once she had time to think, however, she had a new appreciation for what a GAMC oncologists had told her: Finding breast cancer early is the next best thing to a cancer-free diagnosis. Thankfully, Thorpe had caught her cancer early.

"My prayer is that every woman faced with this diagnosis has the care and support that I have received,” she says.

Thorpe now knows firsthand the devastation and fear a cancer diagnosis can bring. She encourages women to join with her and never put off another mammogram.

“If only one cancer is found because a woman came in for a screening mammogram after hearing this story, it will be worth it,” she says.

To schedule your mammogram at GAMC, call (818) 409-8100.