Char Nelson | Northfield Hospital & Clinics

Char Nelson

Char Nelson

I volunteer at the Breast Care Center. I decided I wouldn’t have any more mammograms after I turned 80. Then a friend of mine had a mammogram and was diagnosed with breast cancer at 83, so I decided to have one more.

My mammogram found a tumor that was cancerous. When I had to come back for a biopsy, the whole way there I was singing “Que Sera, Sera.” It just came into my head. I was fortunate because it was very small. My surgery went well, and I only had to have 16 radiation treatments. I had all my care in Northfield. I got great support from my three kids. When Dr. Fulco told my kids about my diagnosis, he turned to my daughter and said, “When women over 50 or 60 get breast cancer, it’s generally not genetic.” He was concerned about her health too, and didn’t want her to worry.

I feel so fortunate at my age to have only very minor things that haven’t incapacitated me like some people close to my age. I tease my friend, “It’s your fault that I had that mammogram.” And now several women at my church say they’ll have another mammogram because of my experience.

My advice? Keep going if you can. I don’t know what Medicare is going to do with mammogram coverage. I hope women have the insurance they need to have a mammogram every year. If it’s caught early, you’re much better off.

Learn more about Breast Care, Cancer Care or General Surgery