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Our voice will be heard

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.
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 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.
I was 43. Went for my annual mammogram. I tiny cluster of cells discovered and I was diagnosed with DCIS. I was told it would have taken approx. 2 years before these cells would have formed a lump that could be felt by self-examination. Because of the early discovery the treatment was far more less invasive and chances of survival far more greater than if it were found later a "lump". Minor surgery, radiation, follow up drug treatment is all I had to endure. Although technically I am a Breast Cancer Survivor I don't like to refer myself as such since other woman endured so much more. I am very grateful that mammograms were made available to me. I was driving to work the day I heard on the radio that American Cancer Society recommend that mammograms aren't needed until 50, I cried at the thought of so many women who would have to suffer due to this recommendation. Breast Cancer is not age restrictive.
Found my small lump after mamagram gave me a clear report two months before. I chose a bilateral mastectomy . My lymph glands were clear. My age was 70, but I am planning on a long life. This was 3 years ago.
My maternal grandmother passed from breast cancer and as a healthcare provider I detected breast cancer in a 22 year old patient without increase risk. 40Not50!
I was 45 with no family history of breast cancer. I had my first mammogram at 40, then again at 42 or 43 and both were clear. At 45 I woke up one morning and my joints were swollen (fingers, arms and legs). I went to the doctor and was told give it a couple of days and if it didn't clear up, I would be referred to a Rheumatologist, and I was given a physical and since it had been 2 or 3 years, a mammogram also. The joint issues didn't clear up, so I was referred to Rhuematology and underwent testing. About a week and half later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and a week after that, I was diagnosed with Lupus...both diagnoses within 2 or 3 weeks. That was in 2008, and today, I am still cancer free. Had I waited 5 years later, until 50 to get screened, how advanced would the cancer had been? Would I had survived? And be here today? I didn't know that people who have cancer also sometimes suffer from rheumatoid diseases such as Lupus. My Rheumatologist thinks in my case that the cancer triggered the Lupus in my body, because a few months after I finished radiation (I didn't need chemo, as it was caught very early), the Lupus symptoms lessened
greatly, and with the exception of a couple of minor reoccurrences in the form of a rash that has gone away since I am back on the medication, the Lupus is in remission. My Rheumatologist thinks but can't prove that lupus was my bodies way of letting me know that something was wrong. Again, I had no family history, however, I AM the family history now. Those jerks who think screenings should start at 50 evidently don't have or know of anyone under 50 diagnosed. They are ignorant and misinformed. I am 100% sure that had it not been for early screening, my outcome would have been very different.
early detection saved me!
I am a mammographer. I believe having a mammogram sooner than later is better, especially if something shows up in a mammogram. The patient has better chances of survival when the mammogram catches it early. A woman goes through changes in all aspects of her body at this time; this includes her breasts.
If my sister had not gotten a mammogram at the age of 42 she would not be with us today! They were able to detect cancer early enough to save her life.
I had a large benign mass in my breast at age 30. A mamogram detected it. My sister has survived breast cancer. The sooner things are detected the better chance we have of living a long healthy life.
7 year survivor....not only mammograms but if you have dense breast you need further testing. My Mammogram didn’t detect my cancer until I had other signs and had a biopsy of a dense area. I had 3 tumors all invasive by the time I was diagnosed. They said I probable was walking around for 2-3 years with my cancer.
The sooner you start to be tasted they can watch for any changes...earlier the better!
I have a friend's mom who was diagnosed with breast cancer, could've been avoided if tests where done earlier and closer together! Things need to change, peoples lives are on the line.
I was 38 and I felt something, a little “nub” in my left breast. I did self checking every so often but not regularly. I thought to myself, that’s weird, maybe it’s been there this whole time and I just never noticed it. I checked every couple of weeks, got my period in the meantime and for sure it was still there, not moving. So I made an appointment with my GP. He said yes, that seems new. Not alarming but let’s get it checked out. Long story short, got the full work up on both sides because I “was close to 40 anyway” ( their words, not mine) and luckily it came back as dense breast tissue (I forget the technical term for it!) my mom said she has the same, nothing to worry about.
Fast forward a year later, I’m 39 going in for my follow up.
Mammogram on both sides. Tech comes in to scan more on the right. Comes back says, the radiologist wants a ultrasound. He has time right now can you stay? Me, I’m like sure why not, probably just dense tissue again.
Ultrasound, biopsy and 24hours later, diagnosed with invasive ductile carcinoma. In my right breast.
Less than 7cm.
But still, if I had never gone in, before I was 40,
If I would’ve waited until I was 50, to find what at 40 was not even noticeable to a self exam... my story would have ended up a whole lot different than it is right now at almost 44.
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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.