Breast cancer patient encourages women to ‘trust their bodies’

Ashley Inda is sharing her story to inspire others to make health a priority.
Ashley Inda is sharing her story to inspire others to make health a priority.
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 11:44 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 6, 2022 at 5:29 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Ashley Inda never thought she’d be sharing her breast cancer journey.

“I want it to be out there,” said Inda. “I want to share my story.”

A busy working mom, Inda said she first noticed a lump in her breast in February 2019. She got an exam done right away.

“They just said that it was dense breast tissue. You’re fine,” said Inda. “I was like ‘Oh, phew.’”

Inda spent the next two years just trying to get her family through the pandemic.

“I didn’t have regular check-ups during COVID because it’s not worth the risk of going in,” said Inda. “But I had consistently been noticing changes and I didn’t want to keep crying wolf.”

In the fall of 2021, Inda went in for a routine physical and requested a mammogram. It was then that she got the news she had feared.

“I was right,” said Inda. “My darn body was telling me and I was just trying to reassure it and I was right.”

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Since her diagnosis, Inda has been documenting her journey on her blog, Grow Through What You Go Through. It’s something she started to encourage others to listen to the changes in their own bodies.

“How many women have put themselves on the back burner during this pandemic because they’ve been doing all the things?” she said.

Doctors at UW Carbone Cancer Center estimate there’s been a 30 to 50% deficit in screening rates over the last two years.

Doctor Lee Wilke, the Senior Medical Director at UW Carbone, says this will have an impact on the number of cancers that are diagnosed at later stages.

“Cancer at a later stage requires a lot more treatment and it is much easier to treat at an earlier stage,” said Wilke. “We are never going to criticize someone for noticing something new because we definitely want to find things earlier rather than later.”

While she’s fighting cancer, Inda says that she’s going to encourage others to trust themselves.

“Get looked at and insist on it,” said Inda. “Be persistent because your life is so valuable and it’s worth living. Your kids need you and we need you here.”

She recently completed her fifth of six rounds of chemotherapy and will have a mastectomy next month.

To learn more about the symptoms of breast cancer, click HERE.

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