Regular Breast Cancer Screenings

Facing Breast Cancer: Shared Stories Part 1 (Regular Breast Cancer Screenings)

Regular Breast Cancer Screenings

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, we’re getting personal and sharing stories from women we work with and love, who have gone through their own health journey with breast cancer or conditions related to breast cancer. Each story and experience is different. We hope these stories help push someone who may be on the fence regarding mammograms and care, to be proactive about their health, advocate for early detection, and provide support to those who may be going through similar journeys. 

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Laura’s Story: Regular Breast Cancer Screenings / Mammograms for Early Detection

“I was diagnosed with fibrocystic breast disease when I was 14 years old. I found a very large lump in one of my breasts when I was lying down one night. Shortly after, my family and I went vacationing with my uncle, who is a doctor. My mom told him about it and he examined me and suggested I get checked. My parents and the doctor decided to remove the mass since it was very large.

I remember the surgery was very quick. Just before I was wheeled away into surgery, my dad broke down into tears. When I woke up, the only thing I was upset about was being in pj’s because that meant someone changed me into them! But the surgery itself never stressed me out. Thankfully the mass turned out to be benign.

Looking back at my 14-year-old self, I thank God I wasn’t anxious at that time. For me, ignorance was bliss and it sort of protected me from any worry about being that young. I remember going back to high school with my chest wrapped in gauze. As a young teenager, breast cancer was not something I thought about much, even though I knew my family had a long history of cancer.

At first, after the surgery, I was scared because I was unfamiliar with fibrocystic breast disease, but as I learned more about it, a lump in your breast does not always mean it will turn out cancerous. I was actively looking for new lumps and learned how to do a breast self-exam. I continued these exams at home, scheduled regular breast cancer screenings, started eating healthy, and continued going to my follow-up appointments with my gynecologist. All of this has brought me peace of mind.

Recently, I had an ultrasound and mammogram done due to a breast lump, in which the results came back all clear. Thankfully, today my health is good.

I have opened up more about my experience with others – emphasizing that age is no exception to any of it, as well as gender. It is very rare that men are diagnosed with breast cancer, but not very long ago my uncle was diagnosed with this disease. Because of this experience and my family’s health history, it has driven me to educate myself more about new treatments, routine checks, and preventive breast self-exams, as well as considering genetic testing.”

How to Do a Self Breast Cancer Screening

Breast Cancer Self Screening

View the Full Blog Series

Regular Breast Cancer Screenings  Breast Cancer Previvor  Becoming a Breast Cancer Survivor