COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A 23-year-old Columbus singer is advocating the importance of mammograms for Breast Cancer Awareness month.
D'Ambra Renee says less then four months ago, she was worried that she might have breast cancer after doctors found six cysts and a tumor in her left breast.
"I noticed it on my birthday. I was on my way to Atlanta and as I am driving I got a sharp pain in my breast," says D'Ambra, whose family has a history of breast cancer.
"I started panicking because my aunt had breast cancer," says D'Ambra.
According to www.cancer.org nearly 10 percent of breast cancer cases are hereditary.
"When she did the scan she found six cysts and a tumor in my left breast. The doctors wanted to watch it because of my family history," says D'Ambra.
Dianne Elmore, D'Ambra's aunt, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.
"I was at work and felt this unusual pain," Elmore said.
Within one week, Elmore's doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer.
Breast pain is not the only red flag, according to Dr. Andrea Cole, Medical Director of Breast Imaging at the Columbus Regional Breast Care Center.
"Some of the signs of breast cancer include a papal lump, nipple discharge, orange skin or peeling skin around the breasts," said Cole.
Three months after doctors found six cysts and a tumor in D'Ambra's left breast she says she went back for a scan and "everything was gone."
She says now she wants to use her breast cancer scare as an opportunity to spread awareness to women in her community.
"I want women to stay up on their health because you never know what could happen," D'Ambra said. "I never thought it could happen to me and people might say it's not breast cancer but especially with it being a tumor, you never know."
Dr. Cole says women under 40 are recommended to have a clinical breast exam by their primary care doctor every three years. Also, women over 40 should have a yearly mammogram and yearly clinical breast exam.