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In Dec. 2008, I went to a dermatologist to have a spot checked on my upper back. A week after having it removed, it was diagnosed as melanoma. Luckily, it hadn't gone deeper that it had. The spot had been there for at least five years. I kept thinking, "I'll get it checked someday." I also had a spot on my shoulder that was itchy and odd shaped. When I got my stitches out, the dermatologist biopsied the shoulder spot and determined that it was squamous cell cancer. Again it had been there a long time and didn't go deep. At that time, he sent me to get blood work done, a chest x-ray, and get my mammogram current (hadn't had one in five years). Since breast cancer doesn't run in our family, I almost put it off. I did go and there was an abnormality on the mammo. I went back for a follow-up mammogram and then was sent for a needle biopsy. The results came back as early stage breast cancer! A lumpectomy was scheduled right away and I was fortunate to have all the cancer removed. My sentinel nodes were negative, thank goodness. I have the most common form of breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma). I didn't have to go through chemo, but am finishing up my radiation therapy. After fighting through a week of fatigue, I am feelling great, and have been able to work through all of this. My advice to everyone, don't put off getting checked. Who knows if I would have waited longer, what the outcome would have been. My outlook on life has changed. I really get irritated at people that put things off. Something could happen and there won't be a second chance to get it done.

kim calderon
carson, WA

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Your click on the "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button helps fund free mammograms for women in need — low-income, inner-city and minority women whose awareness of breast cancer and opportunity for help is often limited. Your click is paid for by site sponsors, and mammogram funding is provided to clinics throughout the U.S. through grants distributed by With a simple, daily click of the pink "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Breast Cancer Site, visitors help to provide free mammograms for women in need. Visitors pay nothing. In addition to clicking the pink "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button, visitors can help more by shopping in The Breast Cancer Site store. With each item purchased, shoppers generate funds that provide free mammograms for women in need.

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