Breast cancer surgeon becomes patient after diagnosis

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Dr. Deepa Halaharvi, a surgeon with OhioHealth, treats breast cancer patients all day, every day.

However, in March, the devastating diagnosis was given to her.

At 42 years old, Halaharvi was facing invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common type of breast cancer.

Halaharvi said it was a good thing she didn’t wait to get checked.

“If I had waited until I was 50, I would have died. I would not be here,” said Halaharvi.

So the doctor became the patient, and had a bi-lateral mastectomy, and the doctor who trained her, performed the surgery.

Her odds were excellent with a survival rate of 95 percent, but it didn’t keep her from worrying.

But those worries, along with the tears, gave Halaharvi a deeper understanding of what her patients go through.

“I for sure feel very blessed and grateful that I had cancer, which is very weird to say,” she said. “I call them as soon as I know, like the minute I know…and then they cry and I just want to reach over the phone and give them a hug, because I know how that feels. I can feel their pain.”

A pain and a fight she carries with her every time she shares her message. The message that early detection and mammograms save lives.

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