A live feed of a surgery on a Texas woman’s breast cancer was broadcast to 26,000 Facebook users, the Daily Mail is reporting. Sonia Johnson, age 50, was unfortunately diagnosed with breast cancer back in December 2017, during a routine checkup. On Wednesday, October 24, she wanted to share the removal of the cancer with the world. Johnson fittingly had her surgery during breast cancer awareness month.
When she found out her prognosis, Johnson opted to have a lumpectomy. She explained to the press that the process can be mentally grueling. While Johnson received chemotherapy as part of her treatment, she learned it would take a surgery to ensure the entire removal of the cancer.
“It’s an emotional journey, but you can’t sit,” she was quoted as saying. “You’ve got to be mentally ready to walk this journey. It’s a fight, it’s a fight all the way.”
Johnson was able to catch the cancer earlier than most. It is recommended that women examine their breasts and get them checked out by a professional frequently, as the earlier the diagnosis, the more likely the cancer can be cured. If breast cancer is caught while it is in Stage 1, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent. If it’s caught at Stage 2, the five-year survival rate still looks good at 93 percent. In Stage 3, the five-year survival rate lowers significantly to 73 percent. At Stage 5, the cancer has the ability to metastasize and spread to other areas of the body. This lowers the five-year survival rate to a bleak 22 percent.
One in eight woman in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
I interviewed a hero today. Thumbs up to Sonia Johnson who is #Facebook live streaming her lumpectomy to raise awareness about breast cancer and early testing. Sonia, you amazing me! pic.twitter.com/02tF0zSk29— Hannah VanHuss Davis (@hannahdinhd) October 25, 2018
Statistically, white women are more likely to get breast cancer than black women, like Johnson. However, black women have been documented to more likely suffer from a fatal diagnosis due to developing the cancer earlier in life and not having it discovered until later stages. While some of this can be attributed to genetics, a lot of it can be attributed to the lack of access to proper health care.
Johnson was able to find a community of women going through the same struggle via Facebook. She hopes that by streaming her surgery, other women will be more motivated to get a mammogram.
“Other people paid it forward before me and now I’m pushing it and paying it forward for somebody else,” she explained. “I will be able to say ‘I had cancer.’ Right now I say I have cancer. Tomorrow [it will be] I had cancer.”