PEORIA, Ill. -- She's a wife and mom, sheriff's deputy and breast cancer patient. What 39-year-old Ronda Guyton wants to be is a survivor!
"I've just been anxious and kind of impatient, worried about what I think I would like to have for my treatment option," says Guyton.
After an abnormal mammogram in May, an ultrasound and MRI confirmed ductal carcinoma insitu or DCIS.
"We don't always have the luxury of detecting cancers this early."
Dr. Lynne Jalovec will perform the Peoria woman's surgery.Although Guyton's cancer is caught early, Dr. Jalovec says lumpectomy may not be her best option.
"The problem has to do with the extent of the disease in the breast...if the disease is spread out over a large area, if it occupies say a quarter of your breast or more...then trying to do a lumpectomy is difficult to get clear margins and the cosmetic result is poor," says Dr. Jalovec.
The doctor and Guyton agree that mastectomy is the way to go in this case. Before meeting with her plastic surgeon to discuss reconstruction, Guyton completes genetic testing. The results are negative. She does not carry the BRCA1 or 2 gene.
After a standard pre-op chest x-ray, Guyton, her husband and her cousin who is a clinical lab technician and hospital vice president by profession, prepare for a consultation with the plastic surgeon.
Guyton's Cousin, Jediah Cantrell says "I just want to be here, ask questions and just try to support her, try to explain as much as I can, to help her understand the medical language and just be here, be here for her."
As Dr. Glyn Jones introduces himself to Guyton and her family, he gives her a copy of a book he co-wrote about breast cancer and breast reconstruction.
"You know, so much of cancer therapy is taking away from someone...we give back and that's a very gratifying component of plastic surgery."
As is most often the case, Guyton's breast reconstruction will begin immediately following the removal of her cancer next month. Until then, she is empowered by educating herself and others about breast health.