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From caregiver to patient, a breast cancer survivor's story

Melisa McLeod knows why it's so important to never miss an annual mammogram.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — If you ask Melisa McLeod to describe her breast cancer journey she will tell you, "I found it by just bending over in the bathroom."  What she found would later be diagnosed as a large tumor in her left breast that required surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Breast cancer doesn't run in McLeod's family, but as a full time healthcare provider she knows the importance of annual screenings.  Unfortunately, she'd missed two years of mammograms when she found the lump in her breast.  She credits her faith, family and physicians at Lexington Medical Center with her successful outcome.

Her experience has made her an advocate and outspoken survivor.  She says each time she shares her story it makes her feel stronger knowing, "she didn't go through this for nothing."

Doctors say the key to surviving breast cancer is early diagnosis.  Speak with your healthcare provider about the right time to begin your annual mammogram and breast health screenings.