MIAMI – Local 10 News Reporter Janine Stanwood recently shared her story of survival after dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis and she will be on Facebook Live at noon Friday to continue the important conversation.
After undergoing her annual mammogram and ultrasound, Stanwood received a letter from her doctor recommending a supplemental screening. That extra step -- a supplemental breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging -- likely saved her life.
“I’m considered high-risk,” Stanwood said. “I have dense breasts, which make traditional imaging with a mammogram difficult. I also have a history of breast cancer in my family: My mom had it, my dad’s sister had it, and it has struck numerous cousins too.”
The mammogram and the ultrasound did not detect the cancerous mass that was growing in her left breast. The MRI did. It was a hard way to learn that some women do benefit from additional imaging methods.
Stanwood’s oncologists at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center believed the cancer was detected early enough that she did not need chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Her doctors advised a mastectomy, surgery to remove breast tissue, was necessary.
The courageous journalist did her research and decided to undergo a bilateral mastectomy, surgery to remove both breasts, with immediate reconstruction on Nov. 27th in Coral Gables.
Her recovery wasn’t easy. She suffered an infection scare that required prophylactic antibiotics, and she went from having an active lifestyle to being forced to spend more time than usual at her Miami-Dade home.
When Stanwood returned to the newsroom, colleagues jumped to their feet in celebration. There was clapping and a standing ovation.
It’s a disease that has hurt the newsroom before. Kelley Mitchell, a former Local 10 News veteran, died of breast cancer in 2015. She was 58. This year, about 42,170 women will die from breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
“I am one of the lucky ones,” Stanwood said.
Sharing her story on Local 10 News has resulted in an overpouring of love and support from the community, and Stanwood wants to continue the conversation.