Buddy Check 25: Mammogram helps catch early stage breast cancer - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Buddy Check 25: Mammogram helps catch early stage breast cancer

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

A local cancer survivor shares a cautionary tale about making time to take care of yourself.

Tonya Smith admits she tends to take care of everyone else's needs before her own. She skipped her screening mammogram in 2014, and only got screened the next year at her doctor's urging.

She had no symptoms, but the mammogram detected a suspicious spot - an early sign of breast cancer.

“I was stage zero. So, that was the good thing about it, but I had not had a mammogram, I would've never found it,” said Smith.

Smith is now cancer free.          

Long before her diagnosis, she participated each year in the Race for the Cure and encourages others to do the same.

She said it's her way to help raise money to cover screening costs for women who can't afford the exam.

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