According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer, which has had 7.8 million diagnoses worldwide in the past 5 years, is the world’s most prevalent cancer. It’s likely we all know someone affected by breast cancer, or a survivor like Shannon Brean.
Four months after her most recent mammogram, Shannon found a lump in her right breast. “It hadn’t been there the day before,” the new mom to a six-month-old said. A friend recommended Joel Yellin, MD, and Shannon reached out immediately. Dr. Yellin called her back, while he was on vacation, at 10:00 that night.
Dr. Yellin told Shannon, “I’ll get you in this week. We will take care of you.”
Tears followed, as did a resolve to not let cancer win. She had a new life with her husband and baby son; a journey that had only just begun.
Diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in July of 2015, Shannon was willing to do anything – anything – to survive. Armed with a life she loved, she refused to let cancer change her. “I had a very good life, and I was not going to lose that. I’m not going to have this change my dynamic, I’m not going to have this change me.”
She underwent a double mastectomy, which involves having both breasts entirely removed, as well as her underarm lymph nodes, and the pectoral muscles beneath her breasts. Shannon found the mastectomies a lot more intense than she’d expected. And it didn’t come without additional challenges; she couldn’t lift anything for more than a month, including her baby boy.
But she was going to get through it. She was going to recover for her son, for her husband, and for herself. Shannon wasn’t going to let cancer “take her,” and with the help of the Lipson Cancer Institute, she didn’t.
“I am going to be grateful for the rest of my life, and I’m going to have a long life,” Shannon said.
Now, whenever she meets someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, Shannon asks, “Did you go to Lipson? The doctors there are the best. The best.”
Dr. McMillan noted he has always wanted to work in a hospital pharmacy, and he believes that completing a residency is the best way to continue on that path.
The Canton-Potsdam Hospital-owned portion of Cottage Street, Potsdam, will be undergoing construction work between Monday, August 15 and Wednesday, August 17, 2022.
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