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DENVER (KDVR) — Feb. 4 is World Cancer Day. It’s a day to raise awareness and improve education.

That’s something Molly Ernst would like to do. 

“I’m cancer free. I’m a cancer survivor,” Ernst said.

Ernst was just 31 years old when she found the lump that led to her diagnosis. She is finally getting her life back after a long battle with breast cancer. 

“I felt a lump. I felt something in my right breast,” she said. It was late 2020, in the heart of the pandemic, and she sought out care at Rose Medical Center.

“I had the double mastectomy, and they were like there’s more, we need to do chemo, and that was the impetus for me being like, OK, let’s freeze eggs now,” she said. Ernst is glad to be able to preserve her ability to have a family.

Doctor: Stay on top of health screenings

She is also grateful for her care team at Rose Medical Center, including Dr. Kayla Griffith, her breast surgeon.

Griffith said Ernst is a survivor and a thriver who went through a lot during the pandemic. Griffith worries that many women may not have gotten back on track with their regular screenings.

“It all goes on the back burner, because, oh, I have to take of everything else and everyone else, and the important message is: Make sure you stay on top of all those things,” Griffith said.

Ernst agreed, and she has a message of her own for other women.

“You have to be your own advocate. You have to. You have to remain positive. It’s way harder to do than being negative,” she said.

Plus, Ernst said to listen to your body, seek out experts, stay active and take time to recover.

“I look at myself every day and I think oh, you look more like yourself,” she said.