A breast cancer diagnosis has not slowed down Dolores Batista.
Now cancer free for 11 years, the Bronx Times 25 Influential Women alumna and insurance agent said she discovered that she had a malignant tumor through a routine mammogram.
She was successfully treated because of early detection.
“I discovered that I had a tumor through a mammogram, so I think it is super important that women do this,” said Batista. “I was fortunate that I caught it early.”
The cancer survivor said she has had excellent doctors over the years in Dr. Nella Shapiro at Eastchester Center for Cancer Care.
Shapiro said she felt a pinching sensation as she was returning from a trip to Paris, she said, and resolved to have a mammogram as soon as possible.
“Because I was so busy with work and everything, I had skipped a year,” she said of the period before she was diagnosed.
Batista had a good friend who she met at the Borough of Manhattan Community College who was very healthy and had parents and grandparents who had lived a long lives but who nevertheless died at only 52-years-old because of a relatively rare disease, pulmonary fibrosis.
This influenced her decision to have a mammogram as soon as possible, just four days after she returned from the trip, she said.
Besides having a capable physician in Dr. Shapiro, who broken the news to her that she had breast cancer after a needle biopsy that followed her mammogram, Batista credits a positive mental attitude with getting her through.
She also had motivation form her son Derek, who she said provided a great deal of inspiration and her boyfriend Julio Rodriguez.
“My significant other was very supportive, and I have been blessed with really good friends and family,” said Batista, adding that some people are quieter about their breast cancer diagnosis because they don’t want to be stigmatized, but that she was public about her condition.
Her treatment consisted of a lumpectomy followed by six weeks of radiation, she said.
She also had to take medication for five years that made her feel fatigued, but later began drinking mangosteen juice, which she said in her case relieved many of the side effects.
Mangosteen juice is used in medical treatments in Asia, but its effectiveness has yet to be conclusively, scientifically proved, according to published material.
Batista operated an insurance agency on Eastchester Road for years after working at AECOM, and now operates an Allstate agency, Karma Business Group at 246 Central Avenue in White Plains.
At her brokerage, she sells a type of insurance policy covering specific major illnesses that is similar to a cancer-specific policy that she said helped her when she had to take time off from work for treatment.