MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — As breast cancer awareness month comes to a close, one local woman shares her story of how she detected her cancer with a self-exam, and now she is now encouraging everyone to be more proactive with their health.

Jennifer Patton has been a breast cancer survivor for the last seven years, as her journey began in 2015.

“I had a mammogram. All was good,” said Patton. “A few months later I had done a self-breast exam, and I found a nogal that didn’t feel quite right. It was like the size of a pea or a pebble you would find in the street.”

In the span of a week, Patton went to several different doctors here in Mobile. Countless exams and biopsies later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

After discussions with her doctor, Patton decided to get surgery and have the lump removed from her breast.

“I wish I would have acted right away on it,” said Patton. “It was a couple of months after my diagnosis that I followed through with the surgery just because life was busy and I wasn’t willing to give up time at work and time with my family. By the time I went through with my surgery I had gone from stage 0 to stage 2B.”

This daughter, wife and mother, and grandmother did not let her diagnosis stop her…she kept fighting. After months of chemo treatments, and radiation, she beat cancer.

“Emotionally that journey was a challenge, and I’m so blessed and thankful to have a very strong family who is very supportive, and my friend group is supportive. I couldn’t have done any of it without them.”

Patton’s self-examination saved her life. Now, as a cancer survivor- she encourages everyone to be proactive about their health in hopes her story may save someone else’s life.

“Doing a mammogram and doing yourself exams is the fastest, easiest way to prevent cancer. You can find it right off the back,” said Patton. “Mammograms are important because sometimes cancer can develop without having any symptoms. You might not notice it, but the mammogram can find it.

For more information on how you can receive free mammogram screenings click here.