Proof of Life after Breast Cancer

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Beverly Miller credits self-exam and Henry Ford Cancer Institute treatment for helping her to fight breast cancer. And now she's helping others with cancer everywhere.

She remembers the day: Sunday July 4. She was in the shower and discovered a breast mass. Sore to the touch, the tissue felt thickened. The next day Beverly Miller was in her Henry Ford doctor's office. He sent her to a breast surgeon at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute. She underwent a biopsy-lumpectomy. The results were positive for breast cancer.

Before her own diagnosis, Beverly's mother and aunt had passed from breast cancer. A woman of deep faith, Beverly promised that if she survived she would help others with cancer for the rest of her life. She underwent surgery for removal of 10 lymph nodes, three of which were positive for infiltrating ductal carcinoma. She then underwent 7 months of chemotherapy followed by 39 daily treatments of radiation therapy.

Beverly started helping cancer patients during her own treatment. She armed herself with funny stories and worked the chemo room for 7 months, bringing laughter to patients and doctors and nurses.

All these years Beverly has been a spokesperson for breast cancer awareness and prevention. She has been a guest speaker at cancer centers across metro Detroit, Gilda's Club, high schools, the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, the Susan B. Komen's Race for a Cure, churches, people's private homes, and local television news.

Her teachings on breast cancer awareness stress the importance of self-exam and regular mammograms. Beverly advises women to:

  • Do a breast self-exam the first of every month.
  • Get a mammogram every year.
  • See the doctor if the breast feels different in any way.

"Breast self-exams every single month can save lives – that and the Henry Ford Cancer Institute saved mine," Beverly said.

A natural teacher and entertainer, Beverly has long been an actress on stage, television, and movies. She always wanted to be a nurse, and now she nurses others diagnosed with cancer, using her words of wisdom whenever she receives the call to help.

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