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9SPORTS Kristen Berset Shares Breast Cancer Journey

6:53 AM, Jun 1, 2011   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Kristen Berset is the newest member of the 9NEWS NOW Sports Team. The Florida native began her career in news, but the job that turned her on to sports reporting was hosting a nationally syndicated Tarpon fishing show.

Kristen says, "I'm out on the beach, sitting in the water and that's my job talking about fish. It can't be any better than that."

A breast cancer diagnosis was never part of her game plan. She found a lump in 2008 while working in Panama City, Florida.  She was just 27.

She put off getting the lump checked. She finally gave in and when her doctor examined her, he said it was just a cyst.

"It was only 3mm big so he's like let's watch it," Kristen says.

They watched it for almost a year. In the meantime, she started a new job covering sports for the Baltimore Fox Channel. The cyst was still there and growing. She went to Johns Hopkins where she had another ultrasound along with a mammogram and two biopsies.

"The next day they called me and gave me the news I had breast cancer," she says.

That was June 1, 2009. Kristen tells us she heard the word but hadn't processed what it actually meant.

What it usually means for younger women is a more aggressive cancer. In Kristen's case, the lump had tripled in size, but it was still a stage one cancer and her lymph nodes were clear.

Kristen choose a bilateral, prophylactic mastectomy and nipple sparing reconstruction to ensure a full, healthy life. Instead of chemo or radiation to reduce her risk of recurrence, Kristen's doctor prescribed the drug Zoladex. It's used on women who have not yet experienced menopause.

It is a once a month ovarian suppressant shot. She'll take Zoladex for 2 to 3 years. The good news for younger women, once you stop taking the drug, the ovaries again function normally, making future pregnancies possible.

Kristen says, "Honestly, when I look back, I never thought, maybe for a split second, thought why me. Never thought about mortality of it all, just thought, 'This is crazy,' but I always knew that it would be fine."

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