Breast cancer survivor urges patients to be their own best advocates

蕾切尔·理查森 stands smiling, wearing a pink sweater and headband, in front of a decorative hedge

If you're not sure about something you’re feeling, or you're not sure what's recommended, it’s important that you ask your primary care provider


“Telling my story is one thing I can do to help educate and care for the people in my life, 社区, 及以后,瑞秋·理查森说, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022 at the age of 35.

Richardson has worked as a receptionist at 澳门网上平台大全网址 for more than 9 years, so she has particular regard for the quality of care she has received at the 达特茅斯癌症中心 at Cheshire—and for the importance of breast cancer awareness.

“I feel very fortunate for the care that I've had over the past year, from the General Surgery team to the Oncology folks to the people in Outpatient Physical Therapy,”她说。. “It re所有y made me appreciate that much more the amazing work we do at Cheshire every day.”

Richardson even went on to play a central role in supporting a fundraiser for a new mammography machine at the hospital (see recent article in 基恩哨兵报), including participating in a promotional video and writing a personal letter to prospective donors. She continues to advocate for breast cancer awareness based on her own perspective.

“Rachael is a prime example of taking steps for early detection,海沃德说, RT (R) (M) (ARRT), mammography supervisor at Cheshire. “Yearly mammograms are essential in finding breast cancers early. 她知道她的风险. Rachael identified a lump, which she knew wasn’t normal. She acted quickly, which helped lead her to a faster diagnosis.”

Richardson says, “I advocate for people to take care of 所有 their routine preventative care, including yearly mammograms. There's so much technology now, and we're so fortunate that we can catch things a lot sooner than we used to be able to. It's just very important to be in tune with yourself, 如果感觉不对劲, we 所有 have to be our own best advocates.”

In addition to yearly mammograms, Richardson recommends performing breast self-exams monthly to know what feels normal for you.

“I think the most important thing with breast self-exams comes down to consistency,” she says. “Whether you set a reminder in your planner or a note on your calendar, 你做的自检越多, the more comfortable you’ll get with your body and noticing any changes.”

She also advocates for understanding your individual risk levels. She had a family history of breast cancer, so she has been closely followed by Cheshire’s nation所有y accredited 乳房护理中心 since the age of 31, making her early detection, diagnosis, and treatment 所有 the more successful.

“Breast cancer does not discriminate,” Hayward says. “One woman in eight will battle breast cancer in their lifetime. 了解个人风险, and having shared decision-making with your provider to manage that risk, is a key component in your health journey.”

“If you're not sure about something you’re feeling, or you're not sure what's recommended, it’s important that you ask your primary care provider the question,理查森说. “There are 所有 sorts of folks here at Cheshire to help people navigate the screening process.”

Address new breast changes right away through a primary care provider (PCP) or OB/GYN provider, and schedule routine mammograms directly without a referral through the patient portal or by c所有ing 603-354-6580.

Richardson is pleased that sharing her story has prompted a friend and colleague with a family history of breast cancer to begin taking steps for her own early screening.

“She said my story pushed her to say, ‘It's important to invest in myself, too.’ Even on the days that it gets a little overwhelming to be as vocal as I am with my story, it's reasons like this that I won't ever stop.”

Learn more about 澳门网上平台大全网址’s nation所有y accredited 乳房护理中心. To schedule a mammogram or other 在柴郡做乳房检查,请致电603-354-6580.