LANDSTUHL, Germany – Patricia Jones’ family have always been pink ribbon supporters. Then in Oct. 2019, Jones herself was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. October also happens to be breast cancer awareness month.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines triple-negative breast cancer as a kind of breast cancer that does not have any of the receptors that are commonly found in breast cancer.
“I was being seen at the time for what doctors thought were kidney stones,” said Jones. “They did a scan. The doctor came in and said, ‘good news there are no kidney stones, but we found a mass in your right breast and you might want to get that taken care of.’”
After her diagnosis, Jones went to the Landstuhl medical library and started doing research and met with oncology at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
“I got the lump removed and I went through chemotherapy and just went from there,” said Jones. “It takes a village to get though chemotherapy. It takes a lot out of you. You need to rely on friends, family and coworkers to help get you through it.”
Jones has been given a clean bill of health, but others are not so fortunate.
According to the American Cancer Society, the average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13%. This means there is a one in eight chance she will develop breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (only lung cancer kills more women each year).
Jones, a clinical systems trainer at LRMC and Navy veteran, goes into this October, breast cancer awareness month, for the first time as a survivor.
“I’d just like to thank everyone who helped me get through this,” said Jones.
Jones’ advice for others going through cancer treatments is to follow the advice of the doctor and see a nutritionist in order to maintain healthy eating.
“Be forgiving of yourself because you’ll be too tired to do some of the things you’d regularly do on a day-to-day basis,” added Jones. “It will be tough on your body, but you’ll get through it.”
For information and resources on all types of cancer, visit https://www.cancer.org/.