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Woman Finds Cancer Smaller than a Grain of Rice: Buddy Check 12

Posted Jun 19 2009 10:13pm
On September 13, 2008, Florida news agencies reported that a woman found a cancer smaller than a grain of rice in the course of a breast self exam.

Marilee Howland (on the right in the photo), the article says, is good at Buddy Check 12. Buddy Check 12 is a system where you check yourself for lumps in your breasts once a month, 12 times a year.

Marilee, a mother of 3 kids, “was doing her self exam, and her fingers were in a spot that typically feels sore to her. Then, she says, she felt moved to slide her fingers to another place. And that’s where she found her cancer. She sees a little miracle in it.

“That tiny lump -- half the size of a grain of rice – turned out to be stage 2 breast cancer. That means it had already spread into her lymph nodes. Doctors explained to Marilee the position was just prime to travel.”

Marilee went through a year of chemo treatment, and now has her hair back.

Obviously this is a lesson about prevention.

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure website tells us that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes. Breast cancer is the leading cancer cited among American women, and is second only to lung cancer in deaths.

The national website,, has an excellent downloadable library of breast health education information, including self-exam techniques, lifestyle changes to help reduce cancer risk factors, and treatment options for newly-diagnosed patients.

Buddy Check 12 has now saved more than 300 Florida women from dying of breast cancer.
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