Girl Check 7: breast cancer survivor launches self exam initiative

Published: Jun. 7, 2017 at 6:06 PM EDT
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By: Lanetra Bennett

June 7, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- It was last October. "I got that phone call that no woman wants to receive." Said, Tallahassee resident Nicky Collins.

Collins was diagnosed with breast cancer. "It was like I was stuck in that moment. The first thing that came to my mind was that this can't be real. This is not true." She said.

Collins says to try to eliminate the chances of the cancer returning, she decided to have a bilateral skin-sparing mastectomy.

She says her breast cancer was stage zero. That stage is the earliest detection of breast cancer development, and the cancer cells are confined to a very limited area.

Collins says she got that good news about stage zero seven days after her original diagnosis. That's how she came up with the number for her new initiative, called, Girl Check 7.

Girl Check 7 urges women to do a self breast exam on the seventh day of every month.

Collins friend and business partner, L. Michelle Salvant said, "Just being aware, being vigilant about our bodies as women. We're on a whole new page, a whole new enthusiasm for women's health."

After realizing the impact of Salvant being there for Collins every step of the way, the two women knew that making a support group a part of the initiative was imperative.

"We're going to make sure that our sisters are covered; get behind them and just push them." Collins said.

Salvant said, "I'm very pumped. That's why we wanted to do something. Not just go around and tell the story about overcoming this. But, really reach back and help some people and let them know, you can overcome it. you can prevent it."

You can follow the initiative on social media at GirlCheck7.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation does encourage adult women to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. It says 40 percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump.

The foundation says while mammograms can help you detect cancer before there's a lump, breast self-exams help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your doctor if there are any changes.

For information on how to do a self breast exam, go to