LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — For Cynthia Zerbe, her life changed on Sept. 13.

“She told me the words no one wants to hear. You have cancer. It’s a malignant,” said Zerbe.

Cynthia went in to get her yearly mammogram in summer 2021.

“Had my mammogram on August 30th and got a call just a day or two later saying they found some things that were suspicious,” continued Zerbe. “While it rocked my world, I am one of those people, like ok what do we do next?”

Cynthia underwent radiation for months and eventually had a lumpectomy.

It wasn’t until December 8 of last year that Cynthia was cancer free.

Now, the survivor wants other women to know how important these screenings are.

“A mammogram is very noninvasive, it be uncomfortable but it’s for a blip of your life,” said Zerbe.”And obviously, look what it found for me.”

During the pandemic, doctors say many people were skipping check-ups and yearly tests, which may be the cause of the increase.

Women should be getting mammograms once a year.

“Not only are you looking for maybe a lump, but sometimes as subtle as just your breasts aren’t symmetrical or there can be some dimples in the skin,” said medical oncologist Brittani Thomas. “Or sometimes some redness in the skin.”

Cynthia wants everyone to know one important thing.

“You don’t have to be a fatality, you don’t have to be a number on the board, you can be a survivor,” said Zerbe.