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Firefighter catches her breast cancer so early she didn't even need chemo

Sue Horton is a paramedic with JFRD. She says a mammogram saved her life and spared her from chemotherapy.

JACKSONVILLE, Florida — "I couldn't feel a thing," Sue Horton said. 

As a paramedic for JFRD, she knows all about saving lives. Now she can spread the word about how she saved her own.

Horton, who faithfully does self-exams, says her breast cancer was so tiny that only a mammogram could find it. That's why she's a strong spokeswoman for Buddy Check 12, which emphasizes both self-exams AND mammograms. 

"Please, I'm begging you... Do it!" Horton said.

She says all women age 40 and up should be getting screening mammograms every year.

Credit: FCN

Horton's physician at Baptist MD Anderson is oncologist Dr. Jennifer Crozier.

"Sue is amazing," Dr. Crozier said.

She says Horton has a fighting spirit which led her to become a firefighter in the first place and led her to stay vigilant about her mammograms.

Dr. Crozier says Horton doesn't have breast cancer in her family.  

"Most women want to think breast cancer is just due to family history," Crozier said. "That's not always the case. They need to remember 90 percent of the time when a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, she's the first in her family to have it. That's why we all need mammograms every year."

Credit: Baptist MD Anderson

Horton says to think about your mom, your auntie, your grandma, and anybody else you love and make sure they are doing Buddy Check to catch breast cancer early.

If you'd like a free Buddy Check kit just call Baptist Health at 904-202-CARE. The kits contain waterproof shower cards to hang in your shower and show you simple steps to do a self-exam.  They also include mammogram reminders.

If Buddy Check has helped you find your breast cancer, Jeannie Blaylock would love to chat with you.  Her email is:  jblaylock@firstcoastnews.com