Breast cancer survivor urges women to listen to their bodies
A Westport resident is sharing her story of being diagnosed with invasive lobular cancer after a handful of doctors told her she was fine.
At 44 years old, Melissa Levy is a mother, wife, interior designer and breast cancer survivor. Levy had her first mammogram three years ago.
She said she was told she had microcalcifications, meaning there is activity going on.
After more imaging, doctors diagnosed her with lobular carcinoma in situ, which is not cancer. They told her not to worry.
"They were adamant that I did not have cancer, this was not something to pursue. They would do a small biopsy or just put me on some medication, and there was really nothing to worry about," Levy recalls.
But her body was telling her otherwise.
After second, third and fourth opinions, her trusted doctor at Norwalk Hospital performed a lumpectomy. They found two tumors. Doctors diagnosed Levy with cancer called invasive lobular carcinoma.
"When it forms, it doesn't always form into a hard lump. It is often misdiagnosed and not found," Levy says.
Now, Levy is urging women to listen to their bodies and be preventative about their health.
"There's always that little voice in your head that's saying that doesn't feel right, please pursue something else," says Levy.
Levy says learning to listen to herself and receive love and help from others has been the biggest lesson of all.
"I felt so much love and support from our family from our friends from our community, it really helped carry me through," she says.
Levy says she's talked to dozens of other breast cancer survivors to navigate her diagnosis. She plans to create a website where other patients and survivors can have an outlet to ask questions, and to bring positivity and awareness to breast cancer.
Capasse and Dr. Boris Godlman performed Levy's lumpectomy/reconstruction
reduction this past July. That pathology came back positive for invasive lobular carcinoma. Doctors performed a double mastectomy- a goldilocks
mastectomy with autologous fat reconstruction in late August. Both surgeries
were performed at Norwalk Hospital.