PANAMA CITY BEACH- October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. All month-long on NewsChannel 7 "Today" we are sharing stories of women bravely battling the disease or those who've survived with strength. Now we are introducing you to a Panama City Beach woman who's on a mission to make sure women are getting their annual mammograms. She says early detection saved her life.
Next month Aimee Palmer will celebrate one year of being cancer free. But getting there hasn't been easy. Palmer was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in January of 2012. "It was triple negative," Palmer explained. "It's one of the rarer types which means that it doesn't respond to estrogen or progesterone, but it's very aggressive, and hard to treat," she explained.
Palmer credits a mammogram for saving her life. "Nobody could feel it, it strictly showed up because of the mammogram. It was caught very early and I was very lucky." If they'd waited until it was detectable by touch it may have been too late. "With it being such an aggressive, fast moving cancer, and it being larger, the treatment might not have gotten it completely."
Unfortunately breast cancer is not rare in Palmer's family. In fact, just a month before Palmer's diagnosis, her aunt was diagnosed with the same form of the disease. Her's was more advanced. She passed away as a result. Now, on this side of the battle, Palmer wants to make sure other women are getting routine mammograms, so they have the same shot at beating breast cancer that she did. "You never know when it's going to happen. You can't say "Oh I'm young, its not going to happen to me anytime soon."
After 6 months of chemo, surgery and 7 weeks of radiation, Palmer is now in the clear. She'll have follow up mammograms every six months for the next 5 years. You might be wondering if she has been tested for the BRCA gene, she has and the results were negative.
Don't forget to sign up for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on Saturday, October 26th at Aaron Bessant Park.