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Shannon Huggins Breast Cancer Success Story

Not backing down from breast cancer

Shannon Huggins Breast Cancer Success StoryAlongside them in that fight is Methodist Richardson Cancer Center with two new programs: the STAR Program and the High-Risk Breast Surveillance Program. In about the next two minutes, a woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer. She will join the ranks of 2.8 million other survivors, including those still fighting this disease.

‘One and done’

Shannon Huggins can’t remember a time when there wasn’t someone in her life with breast cancer, be it her mother, her aunts, or her grandmother.

“I’ve always been acutely aware of breast health,” says the Arlington wife and mother, who had her first mammogram at age 23.

She began seeing breast surgeon Jenevieve Hughes, MD, at the Methodist Richardson Cancer Center two years ago. When the center established its High-Risk Breast Surveillance Program in 2013, Shannon was rolled right in because of her family history.

“This program helps inform women of their risk of breast cancer and empower them to take action regarding that risk,” Dr. Hughes says. “Our goal is to detect breast cancer at an early stage when it’s most easily treated and curable.”

Breast Cancer Success Story This Mother's Day, breast cancer survivor
Shannon Huggins' teenage sons surprised her
with an early gift: pink tennis shoes
embroidered with the words I won.

Among the program’s offerings are genetic testing and breast MRI services. The genetic tests came back negative for Shannon, but in December 2013, her first MRI found a tumor — one that couldn’t be picked up by mammography.

“I don’t know how long that tumor would have been there before they found it if I had just been doing the normal mammograms,” she says.

Shannon’s cancer was early stage, so she only needed a lumpectomy, followed by 33 rounds of radiation. Through it all, she was able to stay positive and keep working.

When a colleague said she hadn’t even realized Shannon had been sick, the breast cancer survivor responded: “I’m not sick. I do all this so I won’t be sick. The cancer is gone, and it’s not coming back. This was one and done.”