October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Trinity Health System is celebrating breast-cancer survivors by sharing their stories and their message of early detection.

Joyia Lytle, Weirton resident and small business owner of Joyia Lytle: Allstate Insurance, said she faithfully received routine screenings, never expecting to be among the more than 240,000 women in the United States who are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. However, in 2021, one of these screenings revealed a lump in her breast.

“I took 15 minutes of my day, normal mammogram,” Joyia said in an interview on Trinity Health System’s YouTube channel. “You hit a certain age and you think, ‘Am I supposed to do this? Am I too young to have a mammogram?’ And obviously, I wasn’t. And the very next day, I received a phone call that something showed up on the mammogram. I was completely blown away.”

After a second mammogram and a biopsy, Joyia learned it was cancer. She described herself as feeling lost. Her husband, Mike, described what the experience was like for their family.

“You have to shift gears,” he told WTOV9’s Chloe Mesogitis in an interview on Wednesday. “To see the one that you love the most struggling and in pain, mentally, you’re just down about the whole thing.”

“Thank goodness that we have the amazing doctors that we do have in this community,” Joyia said.

She was sent to Trinity Health System’s Tony Teramana Cancer Center, where she received a lumpectomy, radiation, and treatment.

“When you’re making these hard decisions, you automatically think of the big cities and you automatically think of different care on a different level, but we’re so blessed that we have facilities that have brought in resources to our community…that are a step above, a level above.”

“The main thing women need to do is get in and get their screening,” Kristy Retton, supervisor of Trinity Health System’s Images Mammography Center, told WTOV9 recently. “Start at 40, don’t skip… If we find early detection we can save your life, you can see your daughter’s wedding, we can see your daughter have her baby, or something coming up in the future. So if anything feels different to you, please give us a call, we’ll get you in.”

One year later, Joyia is cancer-free, and she’s using Breast Cancer Awareness Month to urge others to seek out routine screenings.

“There’s healing in the spoken word, so anytime I can get the opportunity to share my story, I’m going to share it.”

For more of Joyia’s story, check out Trinity Health System’s interview with her over on our YouTube channel. And to see the WTOV9 reports in their entirety, please click here and here.