Navicent Health nurse, breast cancer survivor wants you to be aware


MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – One in 8 women in the United States will have breast cancer in her lifetime, this is according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but doctors want you to talk about it all year long.

Many women think it can’t and won’t happen to them, but that is not always the case.

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“I was like, I’m nurse, I can’t get cancer,” said Teresa VanHorne. “You know, I take care of patients.”

Vanhorne thought she would never have to fight the battle, especially because there was no history of breast cancer in her family.

“My mom said, there’s no way it’s breast cancer because we don’t have that,” said Vanhorne. “But it was,”

That is a myth a lot of women think is true, according to Peyton Anderson Cancer Center’s Cancer Director, Dr. Paul Dale.

“Ladies, say ‘well I don’t have anybody in my family with breast cancer’,” said Dr. Dale.” 70% of all ladies with breast cancer don’t have anybody in their family with breast cancer.”

“I was 45 years old at the time,” said Vanhorne. “I was told then that there was a lot of controversy about getting mammograms that you should wait until you’re 50 before they start screening, but my doctor persisted and said, we need to go ahead and do this.”

Banhorn had Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, also known as DCIS. Meaning the cancer was encapsulated, so it hadn’t spread.

“As soon as we found out, I had a surgical consult, saw the surgeon, had surgery and started radiation,” said Vanhorne.

8 years later, Vanhorne is cancer free, a survivor, and a Breast Health Specialist at Navicent Health, helping other women go through what she went through.

“When you’re talking to a patient and you tell them, or they see my survivor pin on my badge, I can almost see a sigh of relief come over their face,” said Vanhorne. “Like, you’re here, so there’s hope.”

Dr. Dale recommends that if you have a family member that has had breast cancer, get screened at the age of 35.

Navicent Health is celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness all month long with events featured below:

  • Friday, Oct. 6:
  • Official “Wear Pink Day” in Macon
    • FREE Pink Ribbon Car Painting
      • 6:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
      • Peyton Anderson Cancer Center, Navicent Health (800 First Street, Macon)
    • Breast Cancer Survivor Symposium
      • 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
      • Peyton Anderson Cancer Center, Navicent Health (800 First Street, Macon)
      • Breakfast and lunch provided for breast cancer survivors
      • For reservations, call (478) 633-8130
  • Mayoral Proclamation
      • 11:30 a.m.
      • Peyton Anderson Cancer Center, Navicent Health (800 First Street, Macon)
  • Monday, Oct. 9
    • Life Boutique Open House
      • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
      • Peyton Anderson Cancer Center, Navicent Health (800 First Street, Macon)
      • Leg screenings, breast prosthesis fittings, special events, prize drawings and refreshments
      • For more information, call (478) 633-6250
  • Thursday, Oct. 12:
    • Mammogram Marathon
      • 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
      • Five locations:
        • Breast Care Center Navicent Health, Navicent Health (800 First Street, Macon)*
        • Diagnostics Hardeman, Navicent Health (1650 Hardeman Ave., Macon)
        • Diagnostics Monroe, Navicent Health (120 North Lee Street, Suite B, Forsyth)
        • Diagnostics Zebulon, Navicent Health (5925 Zebulon Rd., Macon)*
        • Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health (1960 Hwy 247 Connector, Byron)
      • No appointment necessary for screening mammograms, door prizes and refreshments.
  • Monday, Oct. 16
    • Pink Pool Power Aqua Fitness
      • 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
      • Wellness Center, Navicent Health (3797 Northside Drive, Macon)
      • $10 for all participants – all proceeds benefit free screening mammograms. Please pay by check or cash.
      • No reservations necessary.
  • Thursday, Oct. 19
    • Pink Alliance Survivor Support Group Birthday Celebration
      • 12 p.m.
      • Breast Care Center Navicent Health (800 First Street, Macon)
      • FREE for breast cancer survivors and one support person each, enjoy games and door prizes, lunch provided
      • For reservations, call (478) 633-4733
  • Friday, Oct. 20
    • Genetic Presentation Lunch & Learn
      • 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
      • Peyton Anderson Cancer Center, Navicent Health (800 First St. , Macon)
      • Presented by Darcy Berry, certified genetics counselor, Dr. Linda Hendricks, Medical Oncologist, and Arnold Conforti, Oncological Surgeon
      • For reservations, call (478) 633-4733