Featured Story

Our voice will be heard

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.
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.
My breast cancer was discovered via routine mammogram at age 46 if I had waited till 50 -I cannot even imagine how much worse it would ha e been!
I have a dear friend who at age 45 went and got her annual exam. She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. She immediately underwent a double mastectomy, chemo, and eventually reconstructive surgery. She is living proof of the need for mammograms before age 50.
I was diagnosed with early stage 2 breast cancer in 12/17 at the age of 47. I underwent surgery for mastectomy of my left breast followed by radiation treatments due to one positive lymph node. I have no family history of breast cancer, never smoked, rarely drink and I live a very healthy lifestyle.