Stories

Featured Story

Our voice will be heard

My story begins on 12-24-2006. It's the day my husband didn't wake up. He died in his sleep at age 38. I was 39 and turning 40 the following March. I thought it was best I do a full work up on myself because I wanted to be around for my 3 daughters. So I did all the tests needed and one was my first mammogram. The mammo showed something suspicious so I had more tests including a biopsy. I had an appt. with my surgeon to give me the results. Which means I got a cold and not very supportive response. If I had waited until the current guidelines I'm sure I would not have made it to 50. I was Stage IIIb. I am a patient navigator for Michelle's Place Breast Cancer Resource Center. I always tell my story so others will be a stronger patient advocate for themselves. So we will continue to tell our patients to do their mammograms at age 40 no matter if they have family history or not. I will continue to preach 40 not 50!!!
Laura L.
Too many of my friends before the age of 50 have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The age needs to change!!
Marjorie M.
If no women were ever diagnosed before the age of 40, I'd say this would be okay, but unfortunately, this is not the case. Why take the risk?
Ashley S.
I support testing at 40
Rocio
I myself detected my breast cancer at age 56. I wish that I had found out way sooner....like in my 40s.
Christina C.
I believe that it should be 40 not 50. Cancer does not discriminate. However, my insurance company does not agree.
A
40 Not 50!
Tiffany
I have dense tissues in my bresat so the doctors really want the screening to be done every 6 months. So it is very important to have it at the age of 40
Shalini D.
I had two large lumps in my breasts they were not cancer but they left me scarred and with a look I wad not fond of . Had I been given early testing I may have skipped the surgery.
Linda
If my mom had waited to 50 for her mammogram, she wouldn't be here. She was diagnosed at age 42 with Stage 2 breast cancer. No BRCA gene- just early diagnosis.
Ellen R.
WHY NOT SAVE A LIFE SOONER?
Clarissa F.
My cousin died of metastatic breast cancer at the age of 25. Early detection is critical to saving lives.
Rachel D.
In 2007 my gynecologist ordered a breast mammogram while the insurance companies were allowing women to receive mammograms beginning in their 40s. Two years after my first mammogram, a cyst was detected and removed. Although the cyst was benign, early intervention brought me a "sigh of relief." I am now 52 years old and I still receive yearly mammograms. I advocate very whole-heartedly that all women should be able to request a mammogram at 40.
Carilyn B.
My daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40, stage 2B. I believe if she had started her mammogram at a younger age the cancer may not have spread to her lymph glands.
My neighbor, mother of darling twin girls still in grade school might still be here today had she been diagnosed younger than 40.
I can't imagine her daughters waiting until they are 50 to get a mammogram. I have seen far to many cases of younger than40 women with breast cancer. Raising the recommended age for mammograms to 50 is a crazy and ludicrous idea. If anything the age should be lowered to age 35 or younger.
I am pretty sure it costs about $160 without insurance to get a mammogram .
Cathrynn I.
My sister got it at 29 and died of it at 39
My daughter got it at 39 and survived because she caught it early
My sister got it at 49 and survived
My niece caught it early and lied
My other niece also caught it early
Imagine 5 out of 8 women in one family all with breast cancer before age 50
Some odds
And Doctors still say start at 50
NO..start as early as you can
I have family and friends who were diagnosed when they were below the age of 50. We should keep it at 40.
My breast cancer was detected at Age 41 after following detected calcifications from a baseline mammogram at Age 37. If I had waited until 50 there is a good chance I wouldn't be here to tell this story. There was no lump. Only by having mammograms and biopsies were we able to confirm that the suspicious calcifications were DCIS which infused most areas of the breast. After a lumpectomy, partial mastectomy and finally a full mastectomy was I able to be free of disease.

Age 40 is appropriate, reasonable and lifesaving!
I know some one that is 40 years old and is completing her treatment for stage 3, if she had to wait until 50 years old she'd be dead and her children would grow up without a Mother. Keep it at 40! God Bless you Stephanie Nation!
I had breast cancer at 39!!!! The doctors feel it was there at least 5 years before.
My wife had breast cancer which was detected early thanks to Dr. West and yearly mammograms. Life is far more precious than money. Don't let the insurance companies off the hook. Everyone must sign this petition!
I'm 36 and I'm getting a mammogram today, as I felt a lump on my breast, there's a lot of young woman that need to be checked before 50. Putting the age of 50 only increases the chance of not detecting cancer and losing more lives.
Mammograms help save lives!
No real story here, however, my grandmother was a breast cancer survivor later in her late 70's. I have known many women with cancer before 50 and after 80, and I would hope that our medical system would support all women regardless of age. I am close to 70 and hope to live well into my 90's. Let's give everyone a chance at the best life possible.
I am a mom of two young girls, never did I ever imagine that at age 35 I would be facing the biggest battle of my life. On October 31, 2017 I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. I was fortunate to find the lump myself. I cannot imagine where I would be if I didn't. Having to wait till 50 for a mammogram would have been the death of me. I am currently undergoing an incredibly aggressive chemo regime. Mammograms need to be readily available to any woman at any time. This is not a just an older woman's sickness. It is effecting all of us. I praise God every day for giving me the nudge to self examine. Unfortunately not all women are that lucky. Our health should not be at the mercy of government. We need to be in charge.
My mother got her first mammogram at 39, and 6 years later passed away from metastatic breast cancer. I started annual mammograms at 31, started breast MRIs at age 39, and was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer that same year. In the last 5 years I have had 7 friends between the ages of 35 and 40 get diagnosed, and one passed away at 35 years old. Not having access to mammograms at our young ages would have been devastating!
Elizabeth A.
Please allow women to continue to have their mammograms at starting age 40 (if not earlier) there are so many survival cases when women get their mammos early. You must realize how quickly a lump can grow if it goes undetected !!!! would you let your own mothers/daughters wait later in life???? there could be no justification in my mind if you change this to a later age..
Emily P.
I am a mammographer and I see a lot of young people end up with breast cancer. But because of the early detection, it is normally caught early enough that they can go on and live their lives. I would hate to see one of my patients not be able to come in until they are 50 and end up with breast cancer. I think starting at 50 and then going to every 2 years is not a good thing for us women.
Suzanne
My mother is a breast cancer survivor. Because of her history my sisters and i have to be more cautious. It is very important for us to take care of ourselves and be checcked as frequent as we possibly can. Please, dont change anything. Lets leave it the way it is now. The earlier the cancer is detected the sooner the help and the more survivors.

Laura
Laura R.
As a Family Practice physician, I have had far more patients diagnosed and treated successfully in their 40's than in their 50's. Mammograms need to start at 40. That is what I did and that is what I advise my patients to do.
Carla L.
I am a survivor. I started mammograms in my forties. I had a non-malignant cyst removed when I was 40. There is no history of breast cancer in my family. My cancer was detected on a mammogram in 2015 at age 58. The lump was not found by physical exam. My cancer was stage 3 and very aggressive. I had chemo, surgery and radiation. No woman should have to wait until 50 to start mammograms.
Mary M.
I'm a breast cancer survivor due to early detection.
Clare S.
Start at 40 not 50 it saves lives!
Kathy K.
When I was a young girl my aunt had a double mastectomy to remove a;; the cancer. Many years later it came back and I was now an adult the cancer came back and was now in the breast bone. My understanding is she did not go back for more testing as she thought with the double mastectomy it was gone forever. Since it was in my family I knew I needed to get checked. In 2001 I was 38 yrs old and I found a lump. I went to my doctor a mammogram was performed and I ended up having surgery to remove the masses that were there. I was blessed it was not cancer but I am so thankful I had it checked out. I now make sure I get a mammogram when my doctor recommends it.
Teena C.
My cousin is a carrier of the ATM gene. Having a mammogram after discovering this in her late 30s is what saved her life when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at 40. It was caught early and able to be treated, saving her life. This also saved a substantial amount of money, which is a secondary benefit to saving her life, in that she did not need chemo or radiation for opting for the double mastectomy. Had she not had regular testing after discovering the gene at such a young age, her story would not be so bright .
Cassandra H.
I was diagnosed for the first time with breast cancer at age 36 and the second time at age 51.
Donna H.
It began June 2015. My yearly mammogram. The letter came to my home, there was something on the scan. I didn't panic, I kept telling myself, it's nothing. That anxious feeling you get, that told me differently. I had a lumpectomy, lymph nodes removed, 7 weeks, 5x week radiation. My doctors would continually tell me, "your cancer is so small" and we caught it early! NED, I am happy and blessed to report! I was 51. Two months later my niece was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was 40. I am happy to report she to is cancer free. I had a paternal Aunt, she was diagnosed with breast cancer 50 years ago, she was 40! Doctors were able to eradicate hers also. She has since past but not from breast cancer. There is no genetic link that can determine why we all got breast cancer. Could be the gene has not been discovered. My story, like so many others, proves early screening is vital. I have been getting mammograms since I was 40. I thank god everyday that this was not an issue for me and my family.
Tammy R.
Breast Cancer runs in my family. My maternal grandmother, her sister and their mom all had breast cancer. My mom has had multiple benign lumps removed. I was tested for the gene and it was negative. Early detection saves lives!
Mary H.
A teacher at my school was diagnosed a month after her 40th birthday. If not for the standard of 40 years old she wouldn't still be at the school today.
Chance C.
My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at 65. She lost her fight at 66 this past december!
My daughters step mom died of complications of double mastectomy in early 30's stage 4 breast cancer. She had been advising doctor of lumps she had but because of no family history of Breast Cancer and her age they didn't offer her a mammo.