Stage IIA invasive ductal carcinoma
To honor the life of her mother, Ms. Bacon-Gilbert joined the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program in 2004. As an outreach coordinator and educator, she schooled herself on pertinent topics such as the proper breast self-examination (BSE) technique and reducing risk factors for the disease.
"Before I started working there, I didn't have the tools and specific knowledge I needed to take the best care of my breast health," Ms. Bacon-Gilbert said. "I wasn't doing my self-exams consistently or properly."
In 2006, Ms. Bacon-Gilbert followed the special precautions determined by her family health history and genetic background and underwent a mammogram. The images showed no sign of cancer, but a follow-up sonogram revealed abnormal tissue. A breast biopsy then revealed that the 33-year-old had Stage IIA invasive ductal carcinoma.
"I wasn't shocked, and I didn't panic," she said, noting that her experience in the Adelphi program guided her decision. "But if I hadn't advocated for myself, I would not have known about my cancer until it was too late."