Indianapolis woman grateful for early detection through mammogram

Dr. Schmidt greets Linda Stuckert.

It's recommended women 40 and older get an annual mammogram every year, but Indiana women are in poor compliance.

The Kaiser Foundation reports nearly 32% of Indiana women in this age group have not have a mammogram within the last two years. It's a risk a Butler-Tarkington woman told WTHR she wouldn't take.

"I have eight grandchildren and I have three that live here in Indianapolis, and I just love having adventures with them and making memories," said Linda Stuckert, a 67-year-old breast cancer survivor.

Little Sophie and James love feeding their chickens outside their home on New Jersey Street with their grandmother. These are moments that matter, especially when cancer enters the equation.

Linda is celebrating her one-year anniversary after surgery for breast cancer after a tumor was found during her annual mammogram.

"If you look really closely you will see star-shaped density in this area right here," said Dr. R. Thomas Schmidt, St. Vincent breast surgeon.

Linda got the screening faithfully for 26 years without a problem. She had no symptoms, and no immediate family history.

"This would have gone undetected for quite some time. At this point and time, it's a nine-mm tumor," said Dr. Schmidt. Linda's doctors were able to save her breast through sophisticated molecular profiling of the tumor which indicated she did not need chemotherapy.

"Having breast cancer is no longer a death sentence and I think that is because of mammography," said Linda.

Linda now encourages her friends to keep getting the screening as the risk of getting breast cancer increases with age.

"I really, truly do look at every day as a gift, especially having adventures with my children and grandchildren. That's utmost," she said.

If you are a woman 40 or older, you are encouraged to call a register for a mammogram through Checkup 13. To qualify, you must not have had a mammogram within the last year.

Call 1-866-824-3251 through midnight Sunday, or register here.