Denison radiologist recounts breast cancer battle
DENISON, Texas (KTEN) — DeeAnn Abner worked as a radiologist and conducted mammograms for patients every day.
That's why she knew exactly what was wrong when they put her own mammogram up on the screen during her annual checkup.
She had breast cancer.
"I knew what all was going to happen afterwards, and at that point — once I knew — there was just no quitting," Abner recalled. "I had to keep going... what's my next step? What's my next step?"
She had seen first hand what happens, but now she was forced to look at it from the other side.
"I knew what my patients had gone through," Abner said. "I walked many, many women through breast cancer — that was part of my job — but when it happened to me, I was like, 'OK, it's time to stand up and fight... I've seen all these other people do it, so I can do it.'"
She relied on her support system to get her through her battle
"It's just about being supportive, because they're going to have bad days. And it's just about making sure that they stay strong," Abner said.
Linda Vissering is a two-time breast cancer survivor. She was treated at Texoma Medical Center and praised her care team for taking the time to hold her hand and help her every step of the way.
"They make you feel like you're one of the girls," she said. "It's not just one or two people... they do it for everyone."
The National Breast Cancer Foundation says one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
"It's not just about mammograms; there's so much more to it," Abner said, adding that the most important factor is early detection. "Self inspections, annual mammograms, and knowing your body are the only ways to get ahead of it."