• By Cynthia Weiss

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Integrative health paves road to recovery for young breast cancer patient

October 31, 2021
Mrs. C outside standing by a tree

October holds a bit more significance these days for Michelle Couchenour, a wife, mother of two and dance instructor from Jacksonville, Florida. It's a time of year to raise awareness for breast cancer, especially since Michelle is not far removed from her initial diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2018, Michelle found a lump on her right breast. She called her OB-GYN, and then underwent an ultrasound, mammogram, and biopsy. It wasn't until January 2019 that Michelle, then 36, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"It's a very scary word, cancer," says Michelle, who was referred to the Jacoby Center for Breast Health at Mayo Clinic for treatment, which included surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

After sharing that a family member had breast cancer, doctors recommended Michelle undergo genetic testing. When a genetic mutation was discovered that put Michelle at a higher risk for ovarian cancer, she opted to undergo a prophylactic oophorectomy and hysterectomy as well.

Guided by her faith, family and physicians, Michelle knew she would prevail.

"It's precious when your child looks at you and says, 'Mommy, God is going to heal you,'" says Michelle. "You know I could cry."

Read the rest of story on Sharing Mayo Clinic.