Courtesy of Newton Piedmont
Six months after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at Piedmont Newton Hospital, Mickala Hawkins is cancer-free. Hawkins, 40, was diagnosed with grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma in March. Since then, she went through six rounds of chemotherapy and had a lump in her breast surgically removed last month.
“When I heard the news, I immediately thought, ‘we gotta do what we do so let’s fight this,’” Hawkins said. “Then, I thought of my five-year-old daughter, how she would picture me bald and how I would tell her it would be okay.”
With no recent history of breast cancer in her family, the news was completely unexpected to Hawkins. In fact, when she first noticed a lump in her breast, she never thought it would be cancer and put off having it checked. It wasn’t until her loved ones took notice and suggested she have it checked.
“I encourage anyone who notices a lump to have it checked immediately,” Hawkins said. “If I had taken it seriously, I would have had a grade 1 diagnoses and only needed radiation.”
Hawkins will continue treatment for the next seven months, including radiation, a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. She recently participated in Piedmont Newton’s 12th Annual Hope Luncheon and Fashion Show, celebrating the crusaders, survivors and fighters in the battle of breast cancer.
It is estimated that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. Regular screening mammograms, breast self-exams and yearly breast exams by a physician can help detect breast cancer at an early stage. For more information or to schedule a mammogram, visit piedmont.org.