Anxiety– the kind that makes your heart race, that consistently gives birth to the question, “What if?”– Stephanie Carrell understands everything about it. She should. Considering that she was 14, the UNLV alumna has discovered more than 20 swellings in her breasts.
And over the last 18 years, she’s had each swelling biopsied.
“The procedure of waiting each time to see (if a brand-new swelling was cancerous) made me anxious,” she said just recently over breakfast at an eatery not far from her Summerlin home. “I learned it’s OKAY to sob and be overwhelmed often. I’m extremely fortunate that there’s been no cancer.”
Carrell, ’09 BS Early Youth Education, is now a 32-year-old kindergarten teacher at Lincoln Primary school in North Las Vegas. Her ready humor with kids and coworkers contradicts her medical obstacles. In June, Carrell had a preventive double mastectomy.
The treatment at University Medical Center by UNLV Medicine surgical oncologist Dr. Jennifer Baynosa must significantly decrease Carrell’s threat of getting breast cancer, which had been as high as 85 percent due to the fact that of an unusual genetic anomaly she carries.
“Her danger now remains in the single digits,” stated the 41-year-old Baynosa, a UNLV School of Medicine teacher who finished a breast surgery fellowship at Stanford. “She has a great deal of nerve; it’s a huge step to lose your breasts so young, particularly when no cancer is present.”