James Ann Lamar//Breast Cancer Survivor//Advocate

Greenville native James Ann Lamar has always been a health-conscious woman, so it wasnt unusual for her to get an annual mammogram. However, in the fall of 2008, what she thought would be a typical set of scans changed her life forever. Lamars mammogram results showed two small lumps on one of her breasts that were slowly spreading, and further testing confirmed a breast cancer diagnosis.

Following her diagnosis, Lamar consulted with her medical team and underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery to remove the affected breast and replace it with a prosthetic implant. The operation was a success, and doctors officially declared her to be in remission.

Now, nearly 15 years later and approaching her 80th birthday, Lamar remains profoundly thankful that her cancer was detected in its early stages, requiring no further treatment.

“Im proud to be a survivor,” she said.

Actively involved with the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life, Lamar cautions other women to not take their health for granted.

You cant neglect yourself and not get an exam,” she said. If you cant examine yourself, go to a doctor. If you arent sure, go to a doctor.”

As for individuals currently battling a cancer diagnosis, she has one important piece of advice: connect with other survivors.

Dont feel bad; talk about it. You are not alone.”

For more information on breast cancer and scheduling an annual mammogram, please use this link.

Story by Grace Myers

Photo by: Sliced Tomato Productions