Clarksville professor had delayed cancer treatments

During the 10 days that Clarksville professor Minoa Uffelman spent in quarantine following her COVID-19 diagnosis in early January, her breast cancer radiation treatment was delayed and she missed saying goodbye to a family member.

Life went on while she was isolated. Her financial commitments continued uninterrupted, and she was fortunate to have a steady paycheck and secure job.

“Quarantine can be difficult financially,” Uffelman said. “It costs a lot of money to stock up on groceries. I was able to switch to the home office. Many people did not have this opportunity. They went public or lost their jobs. not suffer.

A journey through breast cancer

Uffelman was diagnosed with breast cancer on October 1, 2021.

“I knew I had breast cancer, but I didn’t know the extent,” Uffelman said. “I found that it was recognized early. It was small and stage 1 cancer.”

Nineteen days later, Uffelman saw a specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and had to make a decision: undergo a mastectomy or a lumpectomy.

A mastectomy is the removal of the entire breast, while a lumpectomy is the removal of part of the breast.

She opted for the lumpectomy and underwent surgery on November 18.

Minoa Uffelman

On January 3, two days before she was due to begin radiation and the final leg of her cancer journey, she contracted COVID-19, resulting in a two-week treatment delay.

Despite the setback, she was fine. She began radiation on January 17 and completed it on February 11 by ringing the bell signifying a patient is cancer-free.

But Uffelman doesn’t consider himself happy in the traditional sense. She was proactive and had her annual mammogram at Premier Medical. If she hadn’t, the cancer might have progressed to a later stage.

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