Breast cancer patient urges women to get screened

Lisa Old, RN, Mary Voss and Oncology Nurse Practitioner Jenny Diederich

While breast cancer most often occurs in women 50 and older, some women face this diagnosis at a younger age. A mother of three young children, Mary Voss was 44 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Voss received treatment and continued with recommended annual mammograms. A routine mammogram at Riverwood Healthcare Center in 2022 showed a concerning area that was biopsied and returned positive for invasive carcinoma.

“This cancer recurrence was found in the early stage,” explains Oncology Nurse Practitioner Jenny Diederich, who is overseeing Voss’ cancer treatment. “The patient went on to have mastectomy surgery with Dr. Shawn Roberts, general surgeon, and continues with routine surveillance with the oncology clinic. If she hadn’t kept up with annual mammograms, her story could have been different.”

Voss is now undergoing adjuvant endocrine therapy to treat her breast cancer every three months.

Breast cancer can occur in different parts of the breast. Voss explains, “For my first incidence of breast cancer I had a lumpectomy of my right breast. I didn’t think I would have cancer again. My first breast cancer was in the fleshy part of my breast, but the recurrence was in the nipple of the same breast.”

Voss comments on her cancer care at Riverwood: “Jenny has been absolutely marvelous! She is so kind and sweet; she takes care of me like a sister. The infusion nurses are amazing too. I love my care at Riverwood.”

Voss urges other women to get their breast cancer screenings. “Get screened whether you want to or not. Getting treated for breast cancer early will help you live longer and have more time with your children and grandchildren.”