This BLOG is about BREAST CANCER AWARENESS UNDER THE AGE OF 40 and advocating for yourself to get a baseline mammogram. Early detection is crucial especially for women under the age of 40. Fewer than 5 percent of women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 40. Yes, it is a small percentage, but YOU could be part of that percentage, I am. Often times, women under the age of 40 may have false positives or dense breast tissue, but it is better to know that in advance and monitor changes when you receive a mammogram again when you are 40 years old. If you are over the age of 40, please get a mammogram.
My whole breast cancer diagnosis is somewhat surreal and I still cannot believe that I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36 with no signs or symptoms. Breast cancer does not run in my family. The reason that I had my first baseline mammogram was because a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36. I thought to myself, I should probably get my baseline mammogram to check things out on my own.
My husband was going to be out of town on Saturday, January 12, 2017, so I thought, that sounds like a great day to get a mammogram! I scheduled my appointment online and that was that, so I thought… my gynecologist had to sign off on the papers for my scheduled mammogram. I spoke with the Nurse Practitioner and she asked, “Have you noticed any lumps or changes in your breasts.” and my answer was “NO.” She also asked, “Does breast cancer run in your family.” and my answer was “NO.” The Nurse Practitioner said that the Gynecologist doesn’t usually recommend a patient getting a mammogram unless they have answered yes to the questions that she had asked me.
I explained that my friend had recently been diagnosed and that I would like to have my baseline mammogram regardless of the guidelines of getting your first mammogram at the age of 40. So needless to say, this is how my BLOG started.
I advocated for myself and although I received the three words you never want to hear, “YOU HAVE CANCER.”, I am forever grateful that I received my baseline mammogram which detected my breast cancer. My tumors were not felt in a breast exam performed by my doctor or myself. (As you read my posts, you will find out why). Please follow along with me on this journey. Being diagnosed with breast cancer does not come with a handbook and I have learned things by talking with breast cancer survivors and experiencing things first-hand. My posts offer tips and suggestions from personal experience and resources. Caregivers that are caring for loved ones diagnosed with breast cancer will also find my BLOG helpful.
My BLOG is intended to offer HOPE to those dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis and uncertainty. I also HOPE that there will be a cure for cancer in the near future!
I am welcoming you to follow me on my journey through the highs and lows of breast cancer.
Anchored in HOPE,