Section: Saint Barnabas Medical Center News

Rabbi Paula Mack Drill Has Never Had Breast Cancer

09/26/2017

The 57-year-old wife and mother of four from West Caldwell, NJ, has never had to absorb the news of a diagnosis that would jolt both her and her family emotionally and physically, regardless of the outcome. What she does have is a memory – a memory of her mother’s 14-year journey with breast cancer and her death at the age of 63, and the memory of her maternal aunt’s passing from the same disease at only 51 years old. Paula also has knowledge.

The knowledge that people who have a first-degree relative (sister, mother, daughter) who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, have double that chance that they, too, will receive the diagnosis. This information and the memory of her mother and aunt motivate Paula every year to schedule her mammogram at The Breast Center at Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center (BHACC) in Livingston, an RWJBarnabas Health facility.

“I’m a calm and optimistic person,” she shares. “I always assume the best. But the best doesn’t just happen. We have to be active participants in life to help encourage good fortune.”

This is why Paula hasn’t missed even one appointment over the past 22 years – beginning screening mammography at the age of 35 at the advice of her physician due to family history.

“If something is wrong, I want to know and I want to take action.”

Why the The Breast Center at Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center? “I always have a positive experience,” explains Paula. “Everyone greets me with a smile and exchanges eye contact. The technicians are so warm. I am always very proud when I leave after my appointment.”

Mammograms help to save lives. To schedule an appointment today at the Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center or any RWJBarnabas Health facility, visit rwjbh.org/mammo.

Read more inspiring stories of Saint Barnabas’s breast cancer survivors.

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