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Three-time breast cancer survivor says mayor's diagnosis can inspire other woman with disease

Posted at 12:24 AM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 11:36:49-05

NORTH LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman has officially started campaigning for a third term in office. But she will be doing it while seeking treatment for stage two breast cancer. The mayor revealed her diagnosis during news conference Tuesday morning.

One North Las Vegas woman knows all too well what challenges the mayor will face. Tanya Flanagan is a three time breast cancer survivor.

"It's definitely shocking,” said Flanagan. “I was 32. I was 37. And I was 38 when I was told. And it is shocking."

While it was shocking; Flanagan was hardly alone in her breast cancer diagnosis.

Dr. Fadi Braiteh is on staff at Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada.

"Statistically 1 out of 8 women will be affected in her lifetime with breast cancer,” said Dr. Braiteh

It's the most common type of cancer affecting women. Flanagan’s mother and aunt died of the disease.

But once the shock wore off Flanagan, who serves as the president of the Board Of Directors for Susan G. Komen Nevada, vowed to make the best of it.

"People look at me all the time and say if you didn't tell me; I wouldn't know. And that is what you want the story to be,” she said.

Like Mayor Carolyn Goodman who shared with Las Vegans that she was diagnosed with stage 2A breast cancer, Flanagan kept up her busy work schedule

“I had chemo every three weeks,” Flanagan said.

The ability to work through it all is largely a result of better treatment options now than two decades ago especially for cancer that is detected early.

"There is no reason to believe someone like Mayor Goodman should miss some work,” Dr. Braiteh said. “Except maybe occasionally and on the day of treatment.”

Flanagan shares her story for the same reason she applauds Mayor Goodman for sharing hers.

A lot of women put off mammograms which typically recommended by age 40, or they ignore family history out of fear when there are support groups, ongoing clinical trials and other support services available through groups like Komen.

“Seeing strong women fight through it inspires other women to say maybe I can do it too," Flanagan said.