Bronx mother reflects on her winning battle against breast cancer

Santiago underwent a double mastectomy, radiation and breast reconstruction surgery. She also suffered from lymphedema afterward.

Marisa Marcellino and Adolfo Carrion

Nov 1, 2023, 2:30 AM

Updated 260 days ago

Share:

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to an end, News 12 is highlighting a Bronx mother who beat the deadly disease.  
Melitza Santiago was just 39 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer – one year before doctors suggest mammograms.  
"Thankfully because I was familiar with my body, we caught it super early,” said Santiago. “Knowing your own body, this goes for men and women, examining yourself and don't downplay any changes." 
Santiago underwent a double mastectomy, radiation and breast reconstruction surgery. She also suffered from lymphedema afterward.  
“Look on your arm and to see if there is any swelling and if you observe any swelling of the arm even if the swelling is mild and comes and goes away that should be reported to the doctor,” said Dr. Anna Lasik, clinical director of rehab medicine at Montefiore. 
Physical therapy helped Santiago get her lymphedema under control, and now she’s back to playing sports with her kids.  


More from News 12