Breast cancer survivor emphasizes self-exams

Voters are helping keep Baptist health Paducah’s “Shake Off” cancer video at the top. More than 100 dancers, including breast cancer survivors are part of the video.

One of those survivors Mellisa Duncan wants to bring more awareness about self-exams. She’s gone through breast cancer two times.

At the Challenger Learning Center, where she works, Duncan points out the places she wants to visit on a large world map.

“I love to travel. I love to learn,” Duncan said

The places she pointed out are part of her celebrate life list not to be mistaken with a bucket list.

“I was happy to be alive after two times. I’d beat cancer twice so I thought, ‘I don’t want to call it a bucket list’,” Duncan said.

Duncan had her first diagnosis in 2008.

‘With triple negative breast cancer – this means its non-hormonal receptive, one of the rarer forms of breast cancer," Duncan said.

The first time around, she beat breast cancer with chemo and radiation.

“Work was the catalyst that kept me going,” Duncan said.

Every so often doctors still found spots. So, 6 years later she opted for a double mastectomy.

“The stories we hear, ‘okay now her breasts are gone, she’ll never get cancer,’ and that’s not the case,” Duncan said.

Last year, doctors found another spot in the same area as the original tumor.

“It was suggested and advised I do chemo again and I finished about a year ago,” Duncan said.

She wants her story to be a reminder to regularly self-examine even if you’ve had cancer.    

“I still have to be diligent in my self-exams,” Duncan said.

Checks are how she first detected breast cancer, and her positive attitude is what kept her going.  

"I don’t feel like I was a hero I feel like I did what I had to do to stay alive," Duncan said.

To watch Duncan in the rest of the pink glove dance video and vote click here.

Voting is allowed once a day until September 23rd.

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