Harlingen breast cancer survivor shares story

3 months 1 week 4 days ago Thursday, October 14 2021 Oct 14, 2021 October 14, 2021 5:29 PM October 14, 2021 in News - Local

One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society

There are often indicators, like a family history of cancer, to help keep people vigilant, but sometimes, it catches you completely off guard. 

Two years ago, at just 35-years-old Amy Tamez received a phone call with a diagnosis she didn't see coming. 

"I remember taking a minute to myself and going to my bathroom," Tamez said. "Basically feeling devastated, like my whole world just came crashing down." 

Following a hunch and a self-breast exam, Tamez sought out medical attention. Given her age, good health, and no immediate family history of cancer, doctors first thought she had an autoimmune disease. Tamez insisted they dig deeper. 

"We found it on the side we weren't going to check," Tamez said. "I'm glad I went home and re-checked myself. Self-breast exams are highly encouraged and can help catch it at an early stage." 

She underwent aggressive treatment, including 16 rounds of chemo, 30 rounds of radiation, and a left breast mastectomy alone, due to COVID-19. 

"My family would drop me off, and they'd go park on the side," Tamez said. "They'd cry, and I'd cry, going in. It was a really hard time to go through something, but in the end, I think it's made me a really strong woman." 

Now, as a breast cancer survivor, Tamez is urging others to be proactive about their health. 

"Don't put it off," she said. "Listen to your body. Be an advocate for yourself. If you know, something is off, and the doctor is telling you no, get a second opinion— a third opinion." 

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