By Guest Blogger, Ann Sheridan
1 in 69. That’s me. I’m that 1 woman out of 69 who gets breast cancer in their 40’s. That’s why I was so put out when that Task Force Study recommended that women wait til they’re 50 before getting a mammogram. Their logic: Only 1 in 69 women in their 40’s gets breast cancer; we’re spending too much money on mammograms that turn up nothing. Thanks.
I was 44…had no family history of breast cancer…and felt great. I was having a routine check-up with my doctor, Larry Pixley of Charlotte OBGYN, when he found a lump in my left breast and sent me to Charlotte Radiology for a mammogram. Turns out, the lump was nothing. But in the other breast: CANCER.
1 in 69. That’s me. For the last year and a half, I have undergone a lumpectomy and a mastectomy and reconstruction. Today, I know that I was that 1 in 69. The girl who drew the unlucky straw. But I am not unlucky. Because I had a mammogram, I am here with my three children and my husband. Here with my sisters and my mom. Here with my friends and neighbors and coworkers.
I was saved by a mammogram. Could you be like me? Could you be 1 in 69? Absolutely. There’s no way to tell who is going to get breast cancer. 80% of women diagnosed have NO family history. You don’t feel a lump? Guess what? You might still have cancer.
But if you catch it early, you will have a greater chance of calling yourself “SURVIVOR.” Like me. We are blessed in Charlotte to have many excellent doctors who have dedicated themselves to saving us. We have technologists who perform mammograms and make the process easy and comfortable (read Jen P’s blog about her spa-like experience at Charlotte Radiology – easy breezy, Smarties:-). We have programs so that all of us – the insured, the uninsured and the underinsured – can get what we deserve: A Mammogram at age 40, and EVERY year after.
Please, if you’re reading this…call for your mammogram appointment today. 40 is the new PINK. Take it from me. That 1 in 69.
In 2009, WCNC-TV news reporter and Charlotte Radiology patient, Ann Sheridan, documented her battle with breast cancer on-air, hoping to help other women facing the same battle and encourage others to get their mammogram. The mother of three, wife and career-woman continues to use her experience to raise awareness and support for local breast cancer initiatives. To learn more about Ann’s story or to make a donation to Ann’s Fund, click here. Funds raised provide support for mammograms for the uninsured and underinsured women in our community. Schedule your mammogram with Charlotte Radiology Breast Center today by visiting www.beatcancerCR.com or call 704.367.2232.
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Thanks for posting this great reminder! I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year at 34 with no family history and found the lump myself. Now I am 100% cancer free and a true believer in early detection saves lives. Every woman should take charge of her health by feeling her boobies and getting mammograms at an early age, despite the official recommendations.
What an amazing story. You are such an inspiration for so many women. Thank you for sharing this important information and for reminding the women of Charlotte how vital proper screenings are. 40 is the new pink. Genius. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
recently had my first mammogram at 37. It took maybe 1o minutes and was painless. I'm healthy but i have known several women my age who were not. A mammogram in their 30's saved one of them. Thanks for reminding and encourage us to take care of ourselves!
Thanks, Ann, for sharing your story! You are a Smarty Warrior! We're so lucky to have a gem like you in our city. Best of luck for a lifetime, cancer free;)
Thank you for posting this. I too was the 1 in 69 when I was diagnosed at age 40 with no family history at my first age 40 mammogram . I am thankful I did not put off the mammogram and that my cancer was found at an early stage. I am cancer free following a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation under the awesome care of great physicians here in Charlotte! Early detection is important so do those monthly self exams and schedule that mammogram!
Thank you so much for this post. I made my appointment today because of it! (-:
Thank you for sharing your story! My OB is adamant about first mammo at age 35 so had my first one last year. What is with all of the discrepancy regarding when you should start getting them?
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