When WNBA star Ivory Latta, 29, went in for a routine checkup in May, she never imagined that she would be facing the reality that she may have breast cancer. The golf ball-sized lump the Washington Mystics guard's doctor found on her breast ultimately turned out to be benign, but it revealed to Latta the importance of not only early detection, but having a strong support system.
"It's scary because I think a lot of times as professional athletes you kind of think you're invincible to certain things," Latta's teammate, Monique Currie, told The Washington Post. "I think we all were supportive as she sat out and was going through what she was going through. Just being positive and trying to reassure her that things would be OK."
The Mystics rallied around Latta, letting her know she could take as much time as she needed, and even playing a breast cancer awareness game against the Atlanta Dream in July. For her part, Latta is determined to share her story and bring to light the importance of early detection of breast cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, regular screenings enable physicians to detect breast cancer before it exhibits symptoms, and therefore treat the cancer before it becomes larger and spreads to other areas of the body. This early detection can save thousands of lives every year.Whizzco