COVINGTON, Ga. - Bonnie Kitchens visits Piedmont Newton Hospital’s women’s diagnostic center every year to receive her routine mammogram exam. This year’s visit was anything but routine, however, after she received a shocking breast cancer diagnosis.
“I always thought of cancer as one of those things that happens to other people, but not me,” Kitchens said. After her annual mammogram in December, however, Kitchens received a call explaining that a spot or mass was found in her mammogram results and that doctors needed to take a closer look.
After returning for her follow up tests, Kitchens received shocking news. “My doctor told me that I had breast cancer,” Kitchens said. “My world just fell apart with that news.”
She was immediately referred to Dr. Erica Scott, general surgeon with Piedmont Physicians Surgical Specialists in Covington, to discuss her options for treatment and surgery.
“Mrs. Kitchens was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ, which is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer,” Scott, who specializes in breast surgery, said. “Thanks to her further testing, which included an MRI and an additional biopsy, I uncovered that Mrs. Kitchens had another mass in her same breast, which also tested positive for invasive ductal breast cancer. I recommended surgery as soon as possible.”
Based on the size of both masses, Scott recommended that Kitchens undergo a single mastectomy. However, after weighing her options Kitchens decided to move forward with a double mastectomy.
“I prepared for this and I chose to remove both breasts. I didn’t want to take the risk of the cancer coming back into my other breast,” Kitchens said. Because her cancer was found at such an early stage, she thankfully did not need chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
Now over a month since her surgery, Kitchens continues to recover. She’s grateful that her annual mammogram found the cancer early, crediting her yearly mammograms, as well as Scott.
“I feel my life was saved by Scott because she went above and beyond to make sure she was providing me with the best care and treatment,” Kitchens said. “I am thankful for a second chance at life.”
For more information about breast health services offered at Piedmont Newton, visit piedmont.org.