Doctor turned patient: An inspiring story for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

5:56 AM, Oct 17, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Despite medical advancements, breast cancer will impact about one in eight women during their lifetime.

It's a statistic that Dr. Peggy Kranyak knows very well.

She's spent the past 30 years treating cancer patients -- including those with breast cancer at the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center at Fairview Hospital.

But it was only until Dr. Kranyak herself developed the disease that she says she truly understood what her patients went through.

Dr. Kranyak had no family history of breast cancer, and it was during a routine mammogram that doctors discovered a lump.

Dr. Kranyak says she knew even before the tests came back.

"I knew right away, so before I even got to the surgeon, I knew the whole history that was going to unfold in front of me."

And that was the moment, almost three years ago, when Dr. Peggy Kranyak went from being the being the patient.

"I've treated thousands of breast cancer patients myself, so it was a very familiar road," Dr. Kranyak says.

But as familiar as that road was, Dr. Kranyak had only ever traveled it as an expert.

"What I didn't truly understand was the intricacies of their physical journey, and also their emotional, and it made me think there was a whole aspect of what my patients went through that I really didn't understand."

But it's an understanding she hasn't really shared with patients, until now.

"I really feel like this is their time to go through treatment and so I never really talked about myself."

Dr. Kranyak hopes her story will encourage other women, and even men, to get check ups and mammograms, and really get to understand their bodies. 

One percent of breast cancer cases involve men.












































































Because it is so rare, men who have the disease can often times feel alone, isolated and even embarrassed.

But Dr. Kranyak says this disease doesn't discriminate, and she says it's important to become familiar with your body before you get sick, so you know if something changes.

Dr. Kranyak enourages both women and men to perform self-exams.

Men can also get mammograms.

There are also support groups specifically for men, as well.

As for Dr. Kranyak, her own journey continues.

"I can say I've survived treatment. Can I say I'm cured? I don't know. And that's an honest answer."

But whatever lies ahead, she is embracing each and every day.

"That's kind of the road i'm traveling- sorting out where do I want to spend my time, my energy, my resources, and then just thanking God for every day."

Dr. Kranyak says her faith has helped keep her positive.














































She says, it's important to find something to keep your spirits up.


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