CHARLOTTE, NC - Maura Sanborn believes her life could have had a much different outcome were it not for cancer screening tests. A two-time cancer survivor, Sanborn sat down with Fox 46 News recently in the hopes of inspiring others to be proactive with their health.
Sanborn, a mother of three, was just 41 years old when she went for her second mammogram in 2011.
“Just going for my yearly check and I thought, it’s not a big deal. I have no family history of cancer, I don’t live an unhealthy lifestyle. I’m out exercising, I’m a non-smoker. I thought, it’s going to be fine,” Sanborn recalls.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most cases of breast cancer in the U.S. are found in women 50 and older. Only about 11 percent of new cases are in women younger than 45.
Sanborn found out she fell into that second group.
“I’m immediately just thinking you have the wrong person, you’re not talking about me,” she said.
Her breast cancer was detected early and was non-invasive. Sanborn opted for a double mastectomy with reconstruction.
“Some people didn’t fully agree with it, but it’s my choice and that’s what I tell women I meet who are dealing with breast cancer,” Sanborn said. “It’s your journey and it’s your choice. For me personally, that was the choice I thought I could live with most.”
Her life has changed drastically in the past four years. Sanborn said her experience with breast cancer inspired her to pursue something she feels strongly about—life coaching. She and her family are also active with the all-volunteer local non-profit BCC Rally, which raises awareness about breast cancer and funding for Susan G. Komen through the signature pink bow campaign.
In May of 2015, Sanborn was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She opted for a thyroidectomy.
“It was being proactive and in some ways just listening to my body. The first time, that was a shocker. This time I knew something was just not right, I knew something was different,” Sanborn told Fox 46.
Sanborn insists her story could have been vastly different were it not for early detection. She has a message for everyone still fighting.
“To everyone who is battling breast cancer out there, know that you are not alone. There is an army around you of support, of pink warriors, who are a phenomenal group of women and men.”
For more information on BCC Rally, you can visit the organization’s website (http://bccrally.org/).