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Breast cancer survivor now a breast health advocate

Posted at 10:59 PM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-10 04:16:08-04

Melissa Dixon shares the shock of finding out she had breast cancer at 30-years-old.

"I had a very proactive gynecologist who advocated for me and we were able to get a mammogram. And it came back positive that I was with Stage 3 breast cancer," she said. 

She had health insurance to handle the medical bills. Now, she's an advocate for women, especially African American women who are under or uninsured.

"I'm able to help community members and able to provide them with services, break down those barriers so that they can get screened, so that they can get mammograms and so that they can get any social services that they need."

Susan G. Komen South Florida says Melissa's position is a first-of-its-kind in the country. She's a breast health navigator based in the community and is part of a pilot program in the organization. 

Melissa is reaching out to churches, community centers and schools starting in Delray Beach. 

"This is real. This disease is killing people and early detection is key. So the sooner we are able to help them, get screenings and mammograms, the better we will be," she said. 

She's also establishing partnerships with other local organizations, such as with the Marie Louise Cancer Foundation in Boynton Beach.

Marie told us, "And if they are diagnosed with breast cancer, we will work together and make sure that we link them to the medical community so that they can get the care that they deserve."

The breast health navigator is able to reach out in the community due to funding from the Quantum Foundation. 

For more information, call Komen South Florida at 561-514-3020.