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The Everyday Face of Breast Cancer

By Michele Smith

Meet Melinda Keane, Burien resident of 56 years, happily married for 36 of them with 2 kids and 5 grandchildren. A hard-working community member and Burien business owner for 25 years who is physically active, on many boards, vibrant and lives life to the fullest. She is happy, healthy, and has no history of breast cancer in her family.

Fast forward to an exceptionally warm day in June 2015 when in the act of putting on her sports bra, Melinda noticed a funny looking indentation on her left breast. Giving herself a quick self-exam in the mirror, she finds a lump.

Four days later Melinda would have a mammogram and the following day a biopsy revealing Stage 1 IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma). About 80 percent of invasive breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinomas, also called infiltrating ductal carcinomas. IDC begins in a duct in the breast and breaks through into the surrounding fatty tissue of the breast. From there, IDC can metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. Melinda’s had spread to her lymph.

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