Mammosite radiation, positive attitude help woman fight breast can - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Buddy Check 12: Mammosite radiation, positive attitude help woman fight breast cancer

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By Stephanie Byars - bio | email

POPLAR BLUFF (KFVS) - DJ Minchew underwent Mammosite radiation after she got a breast cancer diagnosis last Fall.  She says that procedure along with a positive attitude has kept her strong through her fight against the disease.

"I had no idea that I had it." Minchew said. "I went for my usual mammogram and found out it was there."

Minchew says with a family history of breast cancer, she wasn't surprised when she got a breast cancer diagnosis.

"When they told me I thought 'it's finally happened.'" Minchew said.

With an early diagnosis, Radiation Oncologist Dr. Joseph Miller with Southeast Missouri Hospital says Minchew was the ideal candidate for Mammosite radiation.

Here's how the treatment works: After a doctor removes cancer, a special catheter is inserted into the breast.  Radiation can then be delivered through that tube, targeted right where it needs to go.

"You can begin as soon as possible after surgery," said Dr. Miller. "And the most important benefit, radiation is applied only to an area to avoid side effects to whole breast."

It's a benefit Minchew days made a big difference in her battle.

"I have heard horror stories about radiation and how it burns, but you couldn't ask for anything better" Minchew said. "You couldn't even call it discomfort."

Minchew says her only real side effect was feeling tired for a few days.

Today she is employee of the month at her job at Larry Hillis Chrysler in Poplar Bluff.

"She's the matriarch of our dealership, but she's also part of our family" said owner, Robyn Hillis.

It isn't just her work in the office that makes the 18-year employee so esteemed by Hillis and others who know her.

"We never saw her get down; we never saw her with a 'Whoa is me' attitude" said Hillis. "She got diagnosis and said, it is what it is, 'I'm going to do what I need to do to face it.'"

Minchew credits her faith and support system for that.

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