GMA Host's Cancer Diagnosis Sends Message About Early Detection


"If her job hadn't forced her hand in this, and said hey why don't you do this for a story... she may never have found it, and it may have taken her life," said Carmon.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- When 40 year old Good Morning America host Amy Robach was asked by her producers to get her first mammogram live on-air during breast cancer awareness month, cancer survivor and co host, Robin Roberts convinced her to do it, saying, if we can save one life by doing this, it'll be worth it. Just weeks later, Robach realized she may be the one whose life is saved. One local survivor says she remembers being in Robach's shoes.

"I remember being in that same boat that she's in, of saying there's no family history, and I just never expected to hear that," said breast cancer survivor Mary-John Carmon.

One local radiologist says he sees this story all the time.

"Three fourths of breast cancers diagnosed are found in women that do not have a family history, and are not considered high risk. Also, one in six breast cancers found, are found in women between the ages of 40 and 49," said Imaging Consultants of Kentucky Radiologist Brian Wallace.

Carmon says she'd put off getting her annual mammogram until she found a lump.

"I just put it off, just being human, just put it off, and let life get in the way of what I really should have been doing, and that was taking care of myself," said Carmon.

Looking back, Carmon says her screenings could have saved her life, and Wallace agrees.

"Since 1990 the breast cancer death rate had decreased by 30 percent because of screening mammograms," said Wallace.

"Because of mammography, they determined immediately there was an issue. I actually had a needle biopsy that day. I was not allowed to leave. My radiologist would not let me leave the building until he needle biopsied it. I thank God for that everyday because that started the process so much quicker than if I had waited a week," said Carmon.

Wallace says one in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime, and Carmon says Robach's story is one that all women should listen to.

"If her job hadn't forced her hand in this, and said hey why don't you do this for a story... she may never have found it, and it may have taken her life," said Carmon.

Wallace says women age 40 and older should have an annual mammogram. Those with family history of cancer and other risk factors, should consider beginning their screenings even earlier.


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