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New job helps Las Vegas woman realize she has aggressive breast cancer

Posted at 11:23 PM, Oct 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 00:11:53-04

A hard-working single mom of three got some life changing and possibly life saving news thanks to her new job.

Danita Harris' new position at OptumCare Cancer Care helped her figure out she herself had very aggressive breast cancer.

Before her new job, Harris felt a lump under her arm and a smaller one on her breast. She didn't think much of it. But after starting her new job and talking with other coworkers, she knew she needed to take it more seriously.

Harris was being told to schedule ultrasounds and mammograms but didn't want to miss work.

Ultimately, Harris did what she needed to do and was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer; a very aggressive type of breast cancer.

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"It was the strangest thing," she said. "I'm starting a new job, and I didn't just start a new job, I'm doing surgery scheduling for breast cancer, and I'm actually a patient."

She began chemotherapy and quickly lost her hair. But even with everything she's going through, Dr. Vito, the medical director at OptumCare Cancer Care, says Harris is resilient.

"You're never going to find a better person than Danita Harris," said Dr. Vito. "Absolutely love working with her. She's made a huge difference in my practice. Danita has taken some of the toughest treatment we have for breast cancer and she's so dedicated to our patients, she's back at work the next day."

Harris and Dr. Vito want this to be a warning to women not taking care of themselves.

"This job has taught me like you really have to take care of yourself," said Harris.