Houston woman diagnosed with cancer after finding bump on her arm

Saturday, October 17, 2020
Woman's aggressive cancer caught in midst of pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has made many people wary about going to the hospital. But in the video, a woman offers her story in the hopes that it potentially saves your life.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Glynnda Steinford, a 65-year-old mother and grandmother, say she has always been in good health and stayed active.

Steinford said when she felt a bump on her arm, she didn't think much of it.

"I started hitting my arm in the same place, which at first, I thought what was wrong with me. Then it would swell up, and I thought, 'Well that's just because I kept hitting it,'" Steinford said.

When it wouldn't go away, her daughter urged her to go to the hospital.

"Of course, I didn't want to go to the emergency room because of COVID-19, but I went anyway and they did an ultrasound and an X-ray," said Steinford.

She thought the bump looked like a hematoma, which is damage to large blood vessels, something that can occur from an injury, like hitting it. Doctors told her to see somebody if things didn't improve in two weeks. After two weeks, things progressively got worse.

"My arm had gotten to the point where I looked like Popeye, like it was that huge," she said.

Steinford said she ended up getting a biopsy.

"The results came back malignant. So that next week, I went to Dr. Jones, Jessica Jones, and the week after that I was in the hospital," said Steinford.

She later found out she had sarcoma, a cancer that begins in the bones and soft tissues.

"She went in, got tested and was able to find a very aggressive cancer," said Jones, a Breast Oncologist with Memorial Hermann Cancer Center and UTHealth.

The American Cancer Society said in a statement in late September that: "At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, elective medical procedures, including cancer screening, were largely put on hold to prioritize urgent needs and reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in healthcare settings. One consequence of this has been a substantial decline in cancer screening."

A report by IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science found cancer screenings were down by 90% in April compared to February. Colonoscopies dropped by 90%, mammograms by 87% and pap smears by 83%.

"If you have delayed your screening because of COVID-19, if you were due for your colonoscopy if you were due for your pap smear, if you were due for a CT scan to detect lung cancer, maybe you have a history of smoking, to go ahead and go call your doctor," said Jones.

Beyond that, Jones encourages people to check out any irregularities.

"If something is wrong, if you notice a lump on your arm or if you notice something different, you've got belly pain or something is wrong, go in," said Jones.

She said not only is going to the doctor's office safe, it could save your life.

"The reason why Glynnda is able to be cured is because she did not let COVID-19 stop her from going to the doctor," said Jones.

Steinford also received some good news, after four chemo treatments, the tumor was removed and her treatments have been such a success that she doesn't have to do her last two chemo treatments.

"People need to realize if you don't feel right, if something seems wrong, if you're up for your annual colonoscopy, if you're up for your annual mammogram you need to go do it and don't worry about COVID-19 just take the precautionary measures and go get it done because this is not worth it," said Steinford.

Follow Marla Carter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.