Breast cancer patient has a message for others: 'Listen to your body'

Area hospitals are starting to see the impact of missed cancer screenings due to the pandemic. It's those scans that are so important to catching things early. News 12 shares one woman's story who was on top of her screenings and has a message for others.
"If I had not gone in that day and if I had not gotten up the courage to go, this could be a far worse situation and cancer is not something to mess around with," says Erin Monteleone.
Monteleone is just 38 years old, physically active through her roles as a dance teacher, fitness instructor, even a Rockette. This summer she found a lump in one of her breasts, which turned out to be a benign cyst, but led to another discovery.
"In that process of getting it checked out, we found out I had cancer on the other side."
She is now undergoing treatment for breast cancer at Mount Sinai. Monteleone is also sharing her story to help others.
"Trust your instincts when it comes to being concerned for your health," she says.
It's something that doctors stress too, like Dr. Zeidman a breast surgeon at Mount Sinai Brooklyn. He says the pandemic had a big impact on people coming in for cancer screenings.
"We are only now starting to see the effects of missed screens from during COVID. Our institution - we have actually had in 2020 a 77% drop in breast cancer screenings compared to 2019," explains Dr. Zeidman.
Those mammogram screenings, doctors say, help catch cancer early.
"Get screened and know yourself," says Erin.