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Carmel woman with breast cancer says mammogram saved her life

Allison Dusko is encouraging women to get their mammogram.

INDIANAPOLIS — Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Carmel resident Allison Dusko is one of them.

She's 38 years old and twice has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The first diagnosis was made came when she was only 35. She had a double mastectomy as a result.  

The cancer came back a year and a half later.

"Well, I'm not going to lie. I was terrified. I had no idea I had cancer. I felt nothing," said Dusko.

She has been getting mammograms since she was 25 because of her family history. She credits her mammogram for saving her life.

"It was tiny. It was in the back. No one could even find it, and they knew where it was. Early intervention was huge. It's huge for me, and it can be huge for others as well," said Dusko.

Dusko is not new to this fight. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer three times before she died at age 42. 

It's something Dusko thinks about often. "It's really difficult for me to separate my mom's cancer from my cancer. She was diagnosed with it three times before she died. I was like 'I had my first. This is my second.' Now I have to get through this. There's going to be a third, and this is going to be it. I've been actually in therapy a lot," said Dusko.

But now she is determined for her story to be different. Her treatments at IU Health Simon Cancer Center are going well. She wants other people to know there is hope.

"There's been a lot of changes in the past 20 years in treatment. I'm sure there's going to be more in the next 20. I'm sure they'll have this figured out and there won't be an issue for them," said Dusko.

But until then she wants everyone to do one thing.

"Go get your mammogram. For sure, it doesn't hurt that bad. It certainly hurts less than surgery," said Dusko.