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See the little tomato in the middle? It's what one Jacksonville woman says her breast cancer felt like

Lynn Boyd found an aggressive type of breast cancer doing her self exam on Buddy Check Day.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Lynn Boyd was at home doing her exercise routine. She stopped when she heard something on TV.

It's a good thing she paid attention, as it ended up saving her life.

"I was laying on the floor stretching and I had the news on," Boyd says.  She was watching Jeannie Blaylock's Buddy Check report on First Coast News. Every 12th of the month Blaylock reminds women -- and men-- to check for lumps and catch breast cancer early.

"It was automatic," Boyd says. "I reached up and touched there it was. My first reaction was, 'What the heck is that?'"

Turns out she found a very aggressive form of breast cancer, triple-negative. "If it weren't for Buddy Check, I definitely wouldn't have found it," Boyd says.

Credit: Lynn Boys - Buddy Check Success

She wants everyone to know that she was also getting mammograms, which save many lives.  But her mammogram, she says, just six months prior didn't flag any trouble. Boyd says it's proof that women should also do self-exams and avoid totally relying on mammograms.

Boyd chose to have a double mastectomy.  She went through treatment and now --- five years later--- she's speaking out to encourage women to do self-exams.

Credit: Lynn Boyd with her husband during treatment

Boyd's husband grows cherry tomatoes on their porch, and she says her lump felt like that -- firm.  And it wasn't painful.

Boyd also says she has zero family history of breast cancer.  "You think, oh, no family history. I'm good to go. I'm proof you are not good to go," Boyd says.

She's right. Most breast cancers don't come from genetics.  According to experts, 85% or so appear to have no family link.

Boyd is grateful to be alive. She's enjoying spoiling her granddaughter, who, she says is "the most intelligent child there is."

Credit: Lynn Boyd and her granddaughter

Every grandma has the joy of bragging about their grandkids.  Thank goodness Boyd can consider herself a survivor.

Credit: Lynn Boyd survivor

Buddy Check is a joint project of First Coast News and Baptist Health. The project, now in its 29th year, has saved thousands of lives on our First Coast and in other cities across the world.

You can get a free Buddy Check kit.  Just call Baptist at 904-202-CARE.

If Buddy Check has helped you find your cancer, Jeannie Blaylock would love to talk with you. Just email her at jblaylock@firstcoastnews.com