Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) announced Tuesday she has noninvasive breast cancer and will likely have to miss a few Board of Supervisors meetings to undergo treatment.
Hudgins said the cancer, classified as Stage Zero, was diagnosed during a regularly scheduled screening last month, but that she was fortunate enough to have found out about it early.
“The bad news was a diagnosis of early breast cancer, stage zero,” she said. “The good news is that it’s identified early and I think I will have a very good prognosis.
However, I have missed a couple of meetings and I will miss some additional meetings.”
According to breastcancer.org, noninvasive breast cancer, or “Stage Zero” as it is sometimes called, means there is “no evidence of cancer cells or non-cancerous abnormal cells breaking out of the part of the breast in which they started, or getting through to or invading neighboring normal tissue.”
Hudgins said she was unsure when she would start treatment to remove the tissue but said she was very optimistic.
“I’m a good news person,” she said. “I am very fortunate to have access to very good healthcare professionals and, most importantly, to health insurance. I would just remind people that early screening and prevention is very good.”
Her message to constituents was this, she told Patch: “Make sure you get your screenings. That’s the most important thing about this. It’s unfortunate to have this but if you’ve got access, please use it.”
Chairman Sharon Bulova thanked Hudgins for sharing her news and also for raising awareness for regular check-ups and screenings.
“We will be thinking about you,” Bulova said.
Here is the statement Hudgins read at the BOS meeting:
I have always believed in the importance of maintaining good health and taking care of myself. It was at my regular health screening last month that I was given some good news and bad news. The bad news was a diagnosis of early onset of breast cancer, Stage 0. The good news is it was identified early and the prognosis is excellent.
I have selected a treatment plan, which will be implemented over the coming weeks. In preparing for this, I have missed a few meetings and events, and you may occasionally see my empty chair at the dais, committee or community meetings.
I will remain in contact with the Hunter Mill District office, and the staff will continue to provide constituent services at the same excellent level. Fortunately, today's technology allows me to keep track of my Board activities and my other official responsibilities and still be involved.
I am fortunate to have access to excellent health professionals and medical care. I can't stress enough the importance of regular, routine health screenings. As the saying goes, 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.'
While this is expected to take a short time, appreciate your understanding and patience during this time. Thanks in advance.