In 2007, at only 34, Karla found a lump in her breast after first discovering a rash. Thanks to Karla’s persistence, she was given a mammogram and ultrasound and it was confirmed that she did in fact have cancer. Imagine the shock when she was diagnosed with 3A breast cancer, where 14 out of 24 lymph nodes were malignant (cancerous). Like many young women, Karla thought breast cancer was an older woman’s disease. She was devastated.
Soon after the diagnosis, Karla was at a doctor’s visit and something wasn’t right. She was not comfortable with the direction the physician was taking. She wasn’t going to accept her diagnosis as a death sentence, and she wanted options.
Karla’s intuition led her to seek treatment elsewhere, so she transferred her care to the Cancer Treatment Center of America where she was paired with a naturopath, nutritionist, and an oncology team.
In addition to having a mastectomy, they were able to treat Karla without all the grueling rounds of chemotherapy one would expect at that stage. Instead, she received only one Chemo treatment, and the remainder were treatment vaccines or “shots,” as Karla calls them.
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In 2014, the cancer returned and metastasized to Karla’s spine, and she went from stage 3 to stage 4 cancer. Treatment included radiation in her spine, where she experienced lots of inflammation. When the cancer came back, she, unfortunately, had an adverse reaction to one of the medications and lost her ability to walk on her own.
Today, Karla is well as she uses a walker and is getting stronger. Her physician thought the cancer had returned once again. However, it was through Karla’s vigilance that she proved it was the medication and not cancer.
Karla is a walking miracle. She is cancer-free and remains vigilant in her care as she believes you must control the controllable: smoking, drinking alcohol, diet, and exercise.
She’s an excellent advocate for herself and others and encourages women to listen to their bodies and know their risks and their family history before they reach the age of 40.
Karla shares that due to the decline of mammograms during the Pandemic, it is vital to get back on track with mammograms and medical visits. She reminds us that African American women are most likely to