Cancer survivor: Early detection is key - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Cancer survivor: Early detection is key

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -- A Wausau woman diagnosed with breast cancer is sharing her story of survival and knows first-hand why early detection is the key to beating the disease.

"For a number of years, I did not have insurance and I thought I can't afford a mammo and thought even if they do find something, I can't get treatment. So I didn't go in,"  said Deb Raatz.

In 2008, when she was 49, Raatz discovered a lump in her breast.

"By the time we found it, it was stage and if we had caught it earlier, I might not have had to have chemo and radiation as well as a mastectomy,"  Raatz said.

She now knows men and women, who qualify, can get free breast cancer screenings and testing through Aspirus Hospital, where she underwent her treatment.

Raatz now works full-time at  the hospital and is passionate in getting the word out about early detection.

"I can't say enough about catching it early. Making the call, let it ring and once you start talking, it becomes a whole lot easier because you're not dealing with it by yourself anymore," said Raatz.

She will sing the National Anthem at the upcoming Race for the Cure in Wausau.

More information on the race is available at:  www.komencentralwisconsin.org

More information on free breast cancer screening and testing at Aspirus is available at: www.aspirus.org/freemammogram

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