By Drew Brooks
The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer, except skin cancers, in American women. There is a one-in-eight chance that a woman will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Survivor Giorgia Rivera said she never thought she would be among that group.
Giorgia Rivera noticed the pain first — a soreness in her left breast that she found in early October 2015.
She didn’t know it then, but that pain was the opening salvo in her battle with breast cancer.
The most difficult part of that battle came during those few days before she was diagnosed but after she knew something wasn’t right.
“It was scary,” Rivera said from her home in Moore County, two years after winning her battle with the help of doctors and nurses at Womack Army Medical Center. “They were running tests and it’s nerve-wracking. You just want to know right away so you know what to feel.”
For Rivera, cancer was an eye-opener. It forced her to reevaluate her life, what she was doing and how she was spending time with her children.
Until October 2015, breast cancer wasn’t something Rivera thought about.
She has no family history of breast cancer. In 2015, Rivera was 34, younger than the recommended age for women to begin annual breast cancer screenings.
But she knew the pain in her breast was a sign that something was wrong.
An Army dependent at the time, Rivera’s first stop was the Breast Health Clinic at Womack Army Medical Center.
The Breast Health Clinic is one-of-a-kind within Army medicine, officials said. It’s the only center in the Army that is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and one of approximately 550 across the nation that are voluntarily committed to the highest standards of breast cancer care.