IU Health Arnett employee turned breast cancer survivor shares story

An IU Health Arnett employee's quick decision to trust her body helped her catch her cancer much earlier than if she waited for her yearly mammogram.

Posted: Oct 27, 2020 7:16 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- An IU Health Arnett employee, turned breast cancer patient, turned survivor is sharing her story.

Julia Keenoy was diagnosed with Stage 1 Invasive Ductile Carcinoma in July 2019. A quick decision to trust her body helped her catch her cancer much earlier than if she waited for her yearly mammogram.

For many women diagnosed with Breast Cancer, it's typically discovered during their annual mammogram. For Keenoy, that wasn't the case.

"I was actually in between mammograms, I had had a mammogram and it was fine but I had noticed a problem, an issue and so I wanted to get that checked out," said Keenoy.

It was this decision to not ignore her body because she had just gotten a mammogram that she found out she had a small tumor growing.

"It started in the milk ducts and had moved out of the milk ducts," said Keenoy.

From the diagnosis to the tumor removal, she was able to get it all done within the same month. Keenoy has worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator for Oncology at IU Health Arnett for several years but it's actually her family history that's made her keener to examining her body and the changes that occur.

"I do have a strong family history of breast cancer, my mom, her mom, my mom's sister," said Keenoy. "But it's one of those things, I think most women, we think it's really not going to happen."

Keenoy began getting mammograms around age 30 because of her family history but she encourages women, young and old if you notice something don't ignore it.

"If you feel something is wrong, even if you haven't had a mammogram if you're too young to get a mammogram but you think something is wrong, get it checked out," said Keenoy. "It's okay if they come back and they tell you that it's fine that's great. But if there is an issue then you'll know and you can work and deal with it and get the treatment that you need."

Keenoy said her experience with cancer as a patient and researcher has helped her see things full circle.

"One of the things that I love about what I do is working with the patients and talking with patients and now I can really, truly, when they tell me something I can think to myself, I know exactly what you're going through," said Keenoy.

During the month of October, you can schedule and get a mammogram on the same day. IU Health is offering this for women to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You can schedule by calling 765-448-8100 or learn more by visiting the IU Health Arnett website.

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