Montrice Shabete



Self Breast Exams are Critical.

I’m here to share with you my story with the hopes to remind mothers, sisters and daughters the importance of getting your annual mammograms and doing self breast exams and being a self advocate for your own health and well being .

I was 48 and have gotten annual mammograms faithfully since age 40. Every mammogram has come back negative with no concerns, but I was always reminded of my dense and grainy breast tissue. This means a mammogram may not capture everything. This is why the self breast exams are so critical and also requesting an ultrasound in addition to the mammogram. July 2020 while doing a self breast exam I noticed a change that my OBGYN could not identify, but with my persistence she scheduled me for a mammogram and an ultrasound. The ultrasound picked up something in my right breast duct. It was discovered that I had a papilloma mass. I was then scheduled to get an biopsy which later came back benign. However, due to the location of the papilloma mass and the inflammation, I was advised to have surgery to have it removed. On Sept. 25th 2020 when removing the mass, the surgeon discovered something more. He found ductal carcinoma known as DCIS. It’s early stages of cancer that is noninvasive and is considered stage 0 breast cancer. Even though it’s noninvasive, it can lead to invasive cancer and I was advised to have it removed.

The surgeon used the words it was luck that he found the ductal carcinoma. I say it was God’s divine intervention as I’m walking into my year of Divine Success. The surgeon felt that he removed it all and the next step was radiation treatment for 4 weeks. However, after my surgery the radiologist and surgeon conversed and revisited the location of the carcinoma that was remove and how much tissue was left behind, it was advised that I consider a second round of surgery to remove more tissue before I start the radiation treatment.
So my surgeon referred me for screen via a MRI and unfortunately it discovered more cancer that required a mastectomy. I opted for a double mastectomy. I have been 3 years cancer free and have 2 more years on the tamoxifen and I’m claiming and believing that my journey with breast cancer is over!