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By Rachel Gobep, Story330
Katie Audia had a cyst for two years. After she gave birth to her daughter, she realized it had changed – growing to the size of a softball. She sought help at the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center.
Audia, 32, had just bought a house with her husband. Her daughter was 10 months old when she got a call from the center while at working at Turning Technologies in Youngstown.
When the biopsy results came back, she learned it was cancerous.
“It was initial shock. I wasn’t sure what to do. But honestly, I worked the rest of the day,” Audia said.
She decided to tell everyone after work, and her husband couldn’t believe she worked through the day.
“I’m just the type of person that you know, I kind of just push through things … It’s one of those things that I can’t change … It is what it is,” Audia said.
She said there is a history of breast cancer in her family, but there has been no genetic testing.
Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 41 in 1995 and had a single mastectomy. She has been cancer-free for over 20 years. In 2014, her aunt endured both breast and ovarian cancer at 53.
She said this has changed her outlook on life and has made her become closer with her mother and aunt through talking about their experiences.
Audia finished chemotherapy in April and the radiation process began after Easter.
She said it made her realize she needs to make changes in her life, such as becoming healthy, striving to live every day and changing eating patterns because her cancer is estrogen-induced.
This experience has taught her to listen to her body and to know what’s right and wrong. She said it was caught early because she knew about the cyst and realized something was different.
Audia said she has had a great experience at Joanie Abdu since Day One, and had all same day services. She said Dr. Nancy Gantt, who conducted her surgery, is “better than the best.”
Although she has not participated in the Panerathon which benefits Joanie Abdu, she said she will take initiative to become more involved. She plans to participate in the 10th annual Panerathon on Aug. 25.