Fareeah H Faces of Breast Cancer: Fareeah Harris

Her advice, “listen to your body and go for your yearly mammogram.”

Fareeah Harris, 46 years old, had been feeling pain under her arm that came and went, but she didn’t think much of it. However, one night while lying in bed, Fareeah lifted her arm and noticed some soreness. While performing a breast self-exam, she felt a lump and immediately called her doctor to have it examined.

“I had previously gotten mammograms every year, but when I called the Breast Center at the Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center to make an appointment, they told me I hadn’t been in since 2017,” Fareeah explains. Without realizing so much time had passed, “I was shocked.”

A biopsy confirmed that Fareeah had HER2+ breast cancer. “I didn’t expect my biopsy to come back malignant because I have no family history of breast cancer. It hit hard,” says Fareeah. “My body was talking to me, but I wasn’t listening.”

Fareeah chose to be treated at the Cancer Center at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center where she was enrolled into the I-SPY2 clinical trial, offering her expanded treatment options. The I-SPY2 clinical trial is adaptive. If the desired clinical response isn’t evident during the trial, her oncologist can pivot to a different treatment plan. After Fareeah’s first 12 rounds of chemotherapy, her tumor shrank, lymph nodes benign and she successfully underwent a single mastectomy five weeks later.

Fareeah can’t wait for this journey to end so she can spend more time with her friends and family and travel the world! Her advice, “listen to your body and go for your yearly mammogram.”