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SC woman survives breast cancer during COVID-19 pandemic

On April 24, 2020 she was diagnosed with HER2 positive breast cancer.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Some people would consider Cecile King an expert when it comes to finding the bright side of a bad situation.  

The year 2020 proved to be difficult one for many across the country including King.  On April 24, 2020 she was diagnosed with HER2 positive breast cancer.  It's an aggressive form of the disease, but because of King's early detection her doctor's were optimistic about her treatment.  King understands breast cancer intimately, because her mother was diagnosed with the disease as well.  Her mother survived almost 30 years after her diagnosis but was later diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  

Both of her mother's disease diagnosis made King a candidate to be tested for the BRCA gene.  The term BRCA is an abbreviation for breast cancer gene.  We all have the BRCA1 OR BRCA2 genes.  Despite the name, these genes normally play a big role in preventing breast cancer.  However, at times a mutation happens instead and that leads to breast cancer.  King is the youngest of four children and the only one who tested positive for the BRCA gene.

She says that she found strength in her family, faith and friends and medical team at Lexington Medical Center.  Her message to women is to always be aware of their health and not procrastinate when it comes to regular exams.  She wants women to know that they're not alone and they should "Love themselves for who they are today and live for that".

Healthcare providers say early detection is key in diagnosing breast cancer.  Experts recommend that you discuss your family history with your doctor to determine the right time for you to start your annual mammogram.