MANITOWOC, Wis. (WFRV) – Manitowoc’s Sherry Jost is a talented piano player and a proud grandmother of three
“They are so precious,” Jost beamed.
Jost is also a breast cancer survivor.
“Thankful to celebrate another Christmas celebrating the life of Christ,” Jost said.
Sherry Jost knew she had a family history of breast cancer. Her mother was only 50 years old when she died due to complications of breast cancer. Her aunt at age 80, is a 20 year breast cancer survivor. What jost didn’t know was whether she would follow in her family’s footsteps.
“Knowing my history along with my genetics along with my age I was considered high risk,” Jost said.
Armed with that information, Jost says she was vigilant about keeping up with regular mammograms and screenings… and it’s a good thing she did.
“I went in for one of my routine MRIs of the breast and they found a suspicious spot,” Jost shared. “I had invasive malignant breast cancer.”
Aurora BayCare Medical Center breast surgeon Dr. Natalie Luehmann says Josts commitment to keeping up with routine mammograms is, in large part, why she’s still around to enjoy those grandchildren.
If we catch something early that can mean a better prognosis and also overall less treatment for the patient,” Leuhmann explained.
Leuhmann says that’s especially important if you have a family history of breast cancer, but even if you don’t ….
“One in 8 women overall will be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime,” Leuhmann said.
That’s why she says regular screenings are so critical.
“It’s very important for women, all women, to start their screenings at age 40,” said Leuhmann.
Jost opted for a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction to reduce the chances that her cancer would return. She’s currently on hormone therapy and plans to be as vigilant with her routine healthcare moving forward as she has been in the past.
“I am 63 happy to be here,” Jost said, chuckling.
She has plans for many joyful years with her grandchildren ahead.
“They’re so much fun,” Jost gushed. “They just bring joy in both me and my husband, John, and we just love them so much.”
Aurora BayCare recently opened a Multi-Disciplinary High Risk Breast Cancer clinic.
It’s a place where patients can see multiple experts, all in one appointment, to determine their risk for breast cancer and where to go from there.