Survivor Says Getting Mammograms Should Be a Priority

March 2011 – Josephine Bond will never forget the day a mammogram detected a lump in her right breast. It was July 30 – her birthday. That crucial cancer screening test changed the course of her life and the lives of countless others as well.

It wasn’t Bond’s first mammogram. Watching her sister die from cancer was all the convincing it took to commit to yearly screenings. However, this mammogram was different. This time, instead of getting a letter in the mail stating the test didn’t find anything, Bond got a call saying she needed to come back for another mammogram.

Soon after, a biopsy revealed a 2.5-centimeter lump was stage II infiltrating ductal cancer. Bond went into a panic for 10 minutes. She then composed herself, prayed and resolved to beat cancer. She didn’t want to be sick, and she didn’t want cancer to affect her life. 

Bond’s strength somehow carried her through a lumpectomy, five months of chemotherapy and seven weeks of radiation. She never felt sick. Instead of losing weight, she gained some, thanks to cravings for lasagna and hamburgers. She even continued to play bingo every Thursday night with friends.

Bond relied on the staff at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital to make the process of getting cancer treatments go smoothly. They often saved her time by arranging appointments with physicians before calling her.

Now cancer-free, Bond has turned her positive energy to mentoring women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. She shares her strength and makes a difference by serving as an inspiration in the lives of many. She is convinced of the importance of getting cancer screenings.

“Early detection is the key,” she says. “Your health needs to be a priority. Take someone with you to get it done.  It is the difference between life and death.”