10 Year Breast Cancer Survivor Encourages Women to Get Screened
Beth Taylor Greig is a breast cancer survivor from Kenora who is celebrating her 10 year anniversary since having cancer by encouraging other women to get screened. Mammothon is a one-day breast cancer screening marathon taking place on May 12th at five locations across Northwestern Ontario, including three locations in Thunder Bay. Walk-in and booked appointments are available. Visit www.tbrhsc.net/mammothon2017.
By Sara Chow, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre - May 3, 2017
Nothing is going to stop Beth Taylor Greig, including breast cancer.
“In 2007 I went for a routine mammogram, and that’s when they found something suspicious,” explained Beth. “I have always done breast exams myself and my doctor had just done an exam and felt nothing. I was getting ready to run my first marathon at the time, and I felt healthy.”
Beth, who lives in Kenora, is a nurse with the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, a wife, mother of three and grandmother of 3, was surprised to hear the news. She went for an ultrasound, and then had a biopsy which came back positive.
“When we were preparing for my lumpectomy, the surgeon reassured me that the lump was very small and that further treatment wouldn’t be required. Between my diagnosis and surgery, I even ran my first full marathon because I was still feeling well. But, during my surgery they found that the tiny lump had already spread to my lymph node, and that I had stage 3 breast cancer. I ended up doing chemotherapy and travelled to Thunder Bay for 26 radiation treatments.”
10 years later, Beth is celebrating her 10 year anniversary of being cancer free and she is using her unstoppable attitude to live her life. She is maintaining her active and busy lifestyle by continuing to work, run (she is running a half marathon on May 7th), and dragon boat with Kenora’s breast cancer survivor dragon boat team, The Dragon Tamers.
“I was aware of the team from participating in other dragon boating events,” said Beth. “The initiation [having breast cancer] to be a Dragon Tamer is the pits, but being a part of this team is the only positive part about having breast cancer. I am absolutely fanatical about dragon boating now!”
Beth is thankful she found her breast cancer early by going for her routine mammogram. “If it wasn’t for the mammogram, my cancer wouldn’t have been caught as quickly. It was very small and undetectable by feel. If we waited until I could feel it, it probably would’ve been too late,” said Beth. “I can’t stress getting screened enough. It’s very important that all women get screened, especially because with breast cancer you don’t feel sick. If you can, lead a healthy lifestyle too. Being active helped me to survive because it prepared my body and mind to fight.”
As an added incentive for women to get screened for breast cancer, ‘Mammothon’, a one-day breast cancer screening marathon is taking place on May 12th across Northwestern Ontario. Women who complete a mammogram on May 12th will receive a free gift bag and a chance to win a gift certificate. In Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Diagnostics, The Linda Buchan Centre for Breast Screening and Assessment, and the Screen for Life Coach (on-site at Superstore) will be participating.
For more information about Mammothon, including booking and walk-in information, visit www.tbrhsc.net/mammothon2017. You can find out your risk for developing breast cancer, and five other types of cancer, by going to www.mycanceriq.ca and filling out your confidential online risk assessment.