On the 12th of every month, Heartland News hopes you'll think pink.
It's all about breast health, and making sure you or the women in your life get regular screenings.
This month the focus is on surgical decisions newly diagnosed patients must face.
"One Saturday morning I found a lump in my breast," said Geri Beussink of Cape Girardeau.
Beussink remembers it like it was yesterday. Three years ago her doctor told her the news she had feared, she had stage two breast cancer.
"I was a mess, I'm not proud of how I acted," said Beussink. "I went to pieces."
She did her homework, looked at her options, and consulted with her doctor about their plan of attack.
"I wanted that tumor out of my body immediately," said Beussink.
Geri sought out treatment from Doctor John Moll who is a specialist in breast cancer care at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.
"My goal is to present them the information and help them make the decision," said Dr. Moll.
Patients with a cancerous tumor have two choices for procedures.
"First, there is a lumpectomy and that's when we remove a tumor and leave healthy tissue," describes Dr. Moll.
The other procedure is a mastectomy.
"There the entire breast skin and nipple is removed," said Dr. Moll. "For up to 80% of the women we see their cure rate is identical if they get a lumpectomy or a mastectomy."
For Geri Beussink, her doctor recommended a mastectomy.
"He said that from the get-go because of the large size of the tumor," said Beussink. "I've never regretted it, and I've never looked back."
Geri has since underwent reconstructive surgery, and the mother of three says she feels like a new woman.
"I have never felt better to be honest." She says her family, friends, and even her doctor pulled her through. She says she was inspired to persevere through the most challenging time of her life.
Doctors recommend women 40 and older get yearly mammograms.
Those with a family history of breast cancer should get screened even sooner.
Look for more Pink Up reports every 12th of the month on KFVS12.
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