The importance of early detection of breast cancer can make a world of difference, and for one local woman, it may have even saved her life.
In November of 2015, Tammy Meddock was diagnosed with breast cancer after it was believed that she might have cancer following her first exam the year prior. Once it was determined that nothing was found, Meddock scheduled her next appointment at the Fayette County Memorial Hospital Foundation Women’s Wellness Center. This may have been one of the best decisions she could have made, in her opinion, because of their utilization of a digital mammography machine.
“When I had my first mammogram, it was the analog, which is the old machine,” Meddock said. “I was able to schedule my appointment for the following year, while knowing that the women’s clinic was going to be opened the next year in October. Instead of doing my yearly test in August, I waited and ended up doing it in November. It is a good thing I waited because, if I had the analog done in August, instead of waiting for the digital mammogram, they would not have found it.”
According to Meddock, the reason for this was because of the clarity of the image from a digital machine. Had she done the test on an analog, she said it may have had the chance of not being discovered, or not being fully understood. When she had discovered the cancer, it was between the stages of zero and one, but just two months later when she had her double mastectomy, a surgery to remove both breasts including breast tissue and other nearby tissue, the cancer had grown to about stage two. Thankfully, it had not spread into the lymph nodes and with the removal it should hinder further growth.
“I had to do 12 weeks of chemo and had my surgery, but I have had family who has died from types of cancer, including colon cancer which is related to breast cancer,” Meddock said. “I was one of those people who put off having a mammogram because I heard of how badly it hurt. Yeah it is uncomfortable, but look at what could happen if you don’t get it done. Going through the surgeries, chemo, radiation and everything. Getting the mammogram is not that bad. It is only uncomfortable for maybe five minutes and it could go a long way in saving your life.”
Meddock, 42-years-old and originally from Missouri, is married to Gary Meddock and has three children and three grandchildren. She lives in New Vienna and has worked at Fayette County Memorial Hospital for 15 years. She has served as the billing coordinator for the hospital for that time.
Recently, Meddock was honored as a survivor at Tanger Outlets Happy Hour and was the beneficiary of the annual Batting for Boobies softball tournament.