Kathrine Nero's a beloved news anchor for WCPO-TV in Cincinnati who has done her fair share of breast cancer awareness spots for the network. But it wasn't until recently that the campaign really began to hit home for Nero. The 38-year-old first detected a lump on her breast in a self-examination in October, which we all know of as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It turned out to be benign, but another cropped up in late May. This time, the lump couldn't be seen on a mammogram ... But it did appear on an ultrasound, and this time, it was malignant.
Nero had a lumpectomy and some lymph nodes removed two weeks ago, and upon her return to the station, she told viewers that she owes her diagnosis to self-exam. Funny, given that one wacky government task force was trying to advise women against doing breast self-exams (or BSEs), fearing that they lead to false-positives (like Nero's first lump), which only serve to freak women out and wrack up unnecessary medical costs.
Obviously, Nero is proof that BSEs are of tremendous value. Sure, she got a false-positive the first go-round and had to endure a biopsy that came out negative. So what? If she wasn't in the habit of doing self-exams, she wouldn't have caught the second one which was cancerous. If she opted not to do a self-exam, she would eventually be facing an even more stressful and costly situation.
Thankfully, her doctors say her cancer "has a very, very favorable outcome," Nero says. And more than likely, she won't have to go through chemo. That's fantastic!
She's also using this experience to implore women in her audience to do a self-exam regularly, "visit your doctor, get your annual mammogram, and your check-ups." What's more, she noted:
I found this lump, and by talking about it and as women, this is our first line of defense; by talking about it, I hope it encourages you to take those same steps.
Nero didn't want to be the poster child for breast cancer, but it's clear that she's happy to open up about her experience on the air, if it means she can help other women. Good on her!
Here's the clip of Nero tearfully and bravely discussing her surgery upon her return to the station ...
Do you do breast self-exams?
Image via WCPO.com