Lafayette physician says early detection improves breast cancer treatment

Lafayette physician says early detection improves breast cancer treatment
Lafayette physician says early detection improves breast cancer treatment

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The American Cancer Society states there is a one in eight chance that a woman will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

On May 18, Fran Johnson went to the doctor at IU Health Arnett for her yearly mammogram. She thought everything would be fine, but Johnson found out she had early stage breast cancer.

“You’re scared, ya know. You don’t expect it,” Johnson said. “You think: Oh my gosh … what am I going to do next.”

Dr. Matthew Orton, one of Johnson’s physicians, said close to 90 percent of people with early stage breast cancer are cured. He said getting a mammogram and finding breast cancer early improves treatment options and the chance of a better outcome.

“Early stage breast cancer is much more likely to be treated, either just with surgery or surgery plus radiation,” said Orton. “Much less likely to need systemic chemotherapies.”

Johnson said, “It could have been so much worse. I mean, I only needed to do a lumpectomy. I mean there was never any talk of a mastectomy or anything like that because it was caught so early.”

After many tests and consultations, Johnson’s breast cancer was surgically removed on July 19.

“I went home on the same day,” she said.

Johnson then went to daily treatments of radiation at the IU Health Arnett Cancer Center in Lafayette.

“Dr. Orton and the team were amazing,” said Johnson.

She met with him for four weeks. On Oct. 7, after 20 daily treatments, her journey was over. Johnson said she is cancer free.

“I just saw Dr. Orton as I walked in here this morning,” said Johnson. “I said, ‘I’m not back here for treatment, that’s over.'”

Johnson said she is grateful for everyone she met during the process and encourages women to get their mammograms.

“It’s just something that you need to put on your calendar and do it,” said Johnson.