TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - According to the American Cancer Society, more than 8,000 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2019 in Idaho. Monday marks World Cancer Day and KMVT spoke to a Twin Falls woman who shared her battle and has message for others.
"When I found out about it, I was really dizzy. Really dizzy. Couldn’t stop spinning and went into the doctor and found a tumor was like the size of my fist," explained Shilo Hoxie, a cancer survivor.
She was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer three times, going through surgery each time.
"The first time was in June 2009," she said.
The second time was in April 2012 and the third was in May of 2017.
"I don’t have very good short term memory. I struggle with that," she explained. "Also putting my sentences together is one of the most obvious ones. It’s just something that you live with and just move on. I'm alive, I don’t care."
Brian Oswalt, Hoxie's husband said they met when she was in the beginning of her second procedure. Now, they have kids.
"Really? Is what my thought was," he said laughing, as KMVT asked what his thoughts were on the third time she was diagnosed. "Because she’s gone through so much already and here she has to make that choice and go through it again."
Brain cancer is not on the list of top five for most incidence rates, however, cancer is the leading cause of death in Idaho, according to a physician with St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute.
"It counts for approximately 22 percent of deaths in Idaho," said Dr. Jared Manning.
Lung cancer is the leading cancer death in the state from 2012-2016 for both men and women.
"Not all cancer means a death sentence. There's a lot we can do about cancer as long as we catch it early," Manning said. "Not all cancers are the same either. There are some 'good cancers,' if you can say that, and there are some cancers that are not so good."
While he recommends early screening to increase chances of living after a diagnoses, he said many don't get screened because it could correlate with socioeconomic status.
Idaho also ranks 51 in the nation for breast cancer screening rates.
"I encourage people to get screening. I've seen a number of people diagnosed with more advanced cancers be it breast, lung, colon, prostate," he continued. "In part, they were concerned that they were kind of afraid of knowing and that prevented them from screening early and their outcome would’ve been different if they had screening early."
A sentiment both Hoxie and Oswalt echo.
"It's a rough, tough road for anyone to go down. Unfortunately, the best thing to do for families and people to do is to pay attention to diet, if you see something, get it checked out, because early treatment helps prevention way better than late," Oswalt said.
He wants others who has loved one going through the situation to be understanding and ask questions.
"The hardest thing is to not be able to help, but there are so many other ways that you can help, that it helps make up for that," he said. "Add your support and ask doctors questions, don’t be afraid to speak your opinion out there. You’re just as scared as she is and so if you both can kind of get an understanding and the more information you gain, the easier you both can cope."
Hoxie recently had a scan and it came out clean. Her next one is in a few months.
"I put my effort forth in everything to stay here because I want to be a grandma. My babies are young and I have a long way to go," she said. "I mean if you’re going to be here, you’re going to be here because you’re going to fight it to the fullest and I believe in that."