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'I found it on accident,' Local breast cancer survivor shares her story

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Posted at 6:13 AM, Oct 24, 2023

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Sylvia Munodawafa was playing with her young daughter when she noticed a lump in her breast.

“I found it on my own just by accident,” said Munodawafa.

She went to the Cleveland Clinic for testing and was later diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer at 37 years old.

“I think like a lot of young women, you kind of think that it's something that happens to older people. Then it completely hits you like a ton of bricks when it does happen,” said Munodawafa.

She had no family history of breast cancer and no clear warning signs prior to her diagnosis.
 
“I was traveling with my daughter. I wasn't sick. I had no symptoms. I was enjoying life,” said Munodawafa.

Dr. Halle Moore, an oncology specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, credits Munodawafa for getting checked out right away.

“It's important that if you find something that's of concern that you seek attention immediately,” said Moore. “If cancer is found either by a lump or because you went ahead and did your screening mammogram, the earlier we find that the better the chance for cure."

Munodawafa received chemotherapy amid the pandemic.

During lockdown, she turned to art to express her emotions to friends and family.

Now, Munodawafa is almost four years cancer-free.