CORNING, NY (WETM)- October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To kick off the month of October, Guthrie Corning Hospital invited a cancer patient to share their story.

Rebecca or “Becky” Ellis, is a patient at Guthrie Corning and she wants everyone to know how important it is to schedule a mammogram. “I didn’t want to come to the hospital for my mammogram. So I passed it and a year had gone by and I still bypassed that. I just was too busy at work,” says Ellis. It wasn’t until she went to visit her son that she said to herself, “I need to have this looked at. I need to get my mammogram, I need to get checked, because I want to visit my children more often. So, what was last September, I scheduled the mammogram and they found something it was so early, I did not detect it myself.”

“We know that breast cancer is the most common cancer found in women and we also know that early detection with mammograms helps patients to treat the disease and it’s your best chance of survival.” says Nurse Practitioner Julie Nichols,” Unfortunately, we know that not everyone gets their mammograms.”

Ellis says the main thing is that she wants everyone to take care of themselves, “I’m here today because of this building because of the Coning Cancer Center. I’ve survived it. I’m gonna survive it and I’m here to tell everyone, if you missed a mammogram, make sure you have it scheduled, take care of yourself.”

Ellis was going to Guthrie Corning for 12 weeks straight for chemotherapy and 20 days straight for radiation. She was extremely grateful for the care she received there and she began looking for a way to thank each and every one of them for what they did. “I’m laying in bed one night, and I thought 1,000 ‘thank yous’ isn’t enough and I said I’m gonna give them 1,001,” says Ellis, adding that they got her through some rough times.

According to Nichols, the CDC recommends women ages 50 through 74 get a mammogram every two years. Anyone younger, ages 40 to 49, it’s recommended you reach out to your primary health provider to find out when you should begin screening. “Our care is tailored to each individual patient. Identifying each patient’s specific needs is important the providers here at Guthrie are committed to providing high quality patient centered, compassionate care,” adds Nichols.

Guthrie Corning recognizes that being diagnosed with cancer is scary, so Guthrie offers supportive services. “We have highly skilled nursing care, nutritional support financial assistance, as well as social work and survivorship and genetic testing,” says Nichols.

For the month of October, Saturday screening mammograms are back. The appointments are taking place October 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and the 29th. If you would like to schedule an appointment you can do so by going to Guthrie’s website or call 866-488-4743.