Featured Story

Our voice will be heard

At 42 I had my first mammogram they found a benign tumor that I had removed immediately. I had routine mammograms every year except 2012. In 2013 I had my mammogram they found multiple lumps! it was determined to be HER2+ Stage 2 breast cancer. I did neoadjuvant chemo drug (Taxotere) and two antibody drugs (Herceptin and (Perjeta), when I completed the chemo cycle I had a lumpectomy and breast reduction followed by radiation. I am cancer free, but I still suffer with post chemo side effects. Very blessed but I wish the side effects would just go away.
Dawne L.
40 Not 50
Ashley A.
I believe early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. My sister who is only 2 years older then me, was diagnosed with breast cancer and fought for 3 years. Thanks to her i was able to find out that i have the BRACA 2 gene. I am able to get the mammograms needed to protect myself. I believe we need preventative health not an insurance company saying they dont want to pay for this. It is less expensive to prevent disease then to have to pay for treatment.
Being adopted I have no family history so starting at 40 was important.
40 not 50! One of my best friends found out she had breast cancer at 44 during a routine mammogram.
Dawna L.
My aunt was diagnose with cancer at her 49 year old she is a survivor of cancer. Since that I have been concern the cancer may run on all our family, before my 40 I had my 1st mammogram so every year I do it, everyday I check may breast about 3 week ago I discover a lump on my left breast. I called my doctor and she send me for a ultrasound now she send me for a MRI since I had done my mammogram about 6 moths am very concern but whatever its my result I will fight against cancer. An early check up will save our life.
Elizabeth G.
As a stage 4 TNBC survivor, I have met many women who were diagnosed under the age of fifty...including my own cousin. I absolutely support Dr. West and his 40 over 50 campaign.
Erika P.
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. But because of the early detection, it is normally caught early enough
Debra W.
I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and thanks to 3D mammograms they were able to find it early and treat it. It came out of the blue, I'm healthy, I excercise, I'm not over weight - so it can happen to anyone. I've had mammograms since I was 40 and for every woman, it's peace of mind. My sister in law was diagnosed with breast cancer at 45, she found a lump. Perhaps if she had had a 3D mammogram at 40 they would have found it earlier. Thankfully she is doing well but I feel it's important to start as early as allowed for women under 50 since the cancers are much more aggressive pre-menopausal.
Cristina C.
Early detection is the key!!!! Screenings save lives
Melissa K.
I am 67 years old. On January 30, 2017, I had a simple mastectomy. I had seen 2 Dr.'s in December, an Internist and a Gynecological Oncologist who missed 2 masses in my right breast. My Internist ordered my annual mammogram which I had on Dec. 23rd. A mass was found and the biopsy found that I had Stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma. We scheduled a lumpectomy, but my surgeon decided to get a breast MRI ahead of surgery. It showed another cancerous mass which then required that I have a mastectomy.
The pathology report following my surgery indicated that I had two different cancers and changed the Grade of both tumors from 1 to 2/3, or much more aggressive. When the radiologist reviewed my previous mammograms from one year ago, they found no indication of either mass. If I could not have gotten yearly mammograms, considering the aggressiveness of my cancers, they would have most likely metastasized to other parts of my body and I might not have survived.

If mammograms are restricted to those over 50 and only until age 76, and only every other year, we will lose many more woman to this awful disease. Mammography caught my cancer early! Let's not let our sisters down!
Carolyn S.
I was diagnosed with Stage 2 cancer at age 43. If my doctors had been more observant of the reports my cancer would have never reached a Stage 2 as I had early signs of calcification that were never checked. Had I waited until 50, I would have died before my first mammogram. My daughters need special care and consideration as they are considered high risk.
Margie K.
Mammogram detected mine at age 40. I would not be here today if I had waited until 50.
Carol l.
Elizabeth C.
I am a 30 year old student working part time. I am all for early detection. I have had many loved ones effected by this ugly disease. Some have survived some have gone on. Early dectection is very important. Earlier the better.
My friends and family is my story
I was diagnosed with Stage 2 triple negative breast cancer on 10/17/2011. I was 35 years old, mother to a 1 year old and a 3 year old. I found a lump on 9/10/2011, by accident – wiping excess baby lotion on my chest after I had over-poured it on David after his bath. I had been in for a yearly ob/gyn exam less than 3 months before this self discovery however no mammogram was done since I was under age 40, only a clinical exam which did not detect a lump at the time. I never did self exams. I thought of breast cancer as a disease for old ladies. And I had definitely never even heard of triple negative. Triple negative breast cancer is extremely aggressive - my tumor grew from 2cm to just under 5cm with lymphovascular invasion in less than 6, yes SIX, weeks. Breast cancer is not just a single form of cancer, there are subtypes of it. These subtypes of breast cancer are diagnosed based upon the presence, or lack of, three receptors known to fuel the majority of breast cancers: estrogen receptors (ER), progesterone receptors (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). The most successful treatments for breast cancer target these receptors. These receptors are not found in triple negative breast cancer, meaning the tumor is ER negative, PR negative and HER2 negative, hence the name triple negative, and also meaning that there is NO targeted treatment for triple negative. I am currently in remission as of 7/24/2012, after a double mastectomy, removal of 6 lymph nodes, 16 rounds of chemotherapy, 33 rounds of radiation, port surgery, 3 reconstructive surgeries and most of all...numerous answered prayers.
I got srage 4 breast cancer. I was 42 at the time. I found it myself.
My grandma passed due to breast cancer. This is my biggest fear. I have a 5 year old and I would do anything to spend more time with him..
I know several women that have developed breast cancer before the age of 40 and one of them was diagnosed stage 2 when discovered from her mammogram at age 40. Had it not been detected then, it may have been too late.
I am a breast cancer survivor of over 18 years. I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer at 42 years of age. Through early screening and careful monitoring I had surgery followed by chemo and radiation. I had two young children at the time and through early detection I am still here to tell my story!
I have had several friends developing breast cancer in their 30s.
My breast cancer was found BY MAMMOGRAM when I was 42. The tumor was not palpable. If not for the “early” mammogram, I would not be alive today.
I started getting mammograms at 40 per the original guidance. I was not identified as high risk. Last year at 45, a routine mammogram detected stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma. I completed radiation therapy at the beginning of this year, after my lumpectomy. I credit preventative screening with my current high quality of life and excellent prognosis.
Margot S.
I support mammograms starting at 40 NOT 50!
Jeanette M.
Early detection is the best protection!!!!
I have too many friends who have fought this deadly disease. 40 not 50 has saved their lives. I support early detection and ask the government to not give in to the insurance company lobbyists. Early detection saves lives.
I support starting mammograms at the age of 40!!
Jennifer D.
I started having mammograms at the age of 40. Both my mother and grandmother passed from breast cancer. It is important to be screened annually for this disease as early detection would improve chances of treating cancer.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!!
My cousin was is alive because it was detected before it was too late.
I have dense breast and recently had a mammogram and needed further modalities which were not covered by insurance. Crazy!
My aunt was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer at 42 and died at 47.
I know other women in their 40s (1 in her 30s) that were able to detect an issue and get the proper treatment because of their annual mammograms. I thought waiting until 40 was too long BUT waiting until 50 is insane and irresponsible! Until there's a cure... the only way to take control of cancer before it takes control of us is through EARLY DETECTION! The earlier the better! Self exams, Mammograms, and Breast MRIs are VITAL!
Julie R.
My beloved sister-in-law had no family history of breast cancer. And at age 36, she was diagnosed. She felt a lump. Her doctor's recommendation was that she was not of age to have a mammogram. She fought breast cancer for 14 years, losing her battle at the young age of 50. She had two beautiful children. We miss her.
Patricia K.
I was diagnosed early. Small, not staged lesion. I was over 50 but I got a mammogram every year. Had I waited another year things might be very different today. I know too many under 40 women that are diagnosed at stage 2 or 3 with breast cancer that is seems contagious. The treatment for these women is much more involved than it was for me. Early diagnosis, early intervention and diligent monitoring are the key for a better outcome.
Vivian S.
I have have known three women diagnosed late. One survived, the other two did not. The two who did not was in her 20's when diagnosed, the other in her late 40's. Had they been diagnosed earlier, I am sure they would have had much better outcomes. The loss has affected many lives, and it is hoped that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated. Please support this campaign.
Melissa M.
I don't have breast cancer, but I am listening to John West on the radio and appreciate the work he has done. My aunt passed away of breast cancer. I wish this program was around 20 years ago. Keep up the good work!
Earliest screening is best!!! A friend of mine whom is 24 years young was diagnosed with breast cancer this past year. She has no family history of breast cancer or any cancer for that matter in her family. She thankfully found a lump on her self exam. The rest is pretty obvious of course. Cancer. She went through chemo, radiation and both breasts removed. She lost her hair and all the other common symptoms with the treatments. Nausea, tiredness, hopeless etc. This all happened the year she was to be married to the love of her life. He never left her side and was there for the long haul. They did not cancel the wedding. He loved her and wanted her to be his wife bald, scarred and everything. She is thankfully a survivor. Happily married. Hair growing in. I believe in early screening. Makes me think what if she didn't feel that lump? What ifs are way too many to count. So all in all the early the better. She is only 24 years young. Breast cancer or any cancer doesn't discriminate for age. Please don't bump the screening to 50. If at all move it up to 30. Money will always be around. But lives won't .
I found my lump while getting dressed, but with no family history and only being 36 years old, I was not worried. I did get it checked immediatley, and I am glad I did. I was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. Women are getting diagnosed at an earlier age, we need to move the guidelines to screen to cover these younger women!