LaShaun Anderson is a mother of two who’s never had a breast exam and didn’t feel she needed one. It wasn’t until a co-worker kept after her to get her first mammogram that LaShaun reluctantly went. Not only did she find out she has dense breast tissue, but she had cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, apart from skin cancer. But when caught early, woman are far less likely to die from breast cancer or need surgeries and treatment.
In the video, LaShaun talks about how thankful she is the cancer was caught in time. She has a young daughter and didn’t want to take a chance of the breast cancer returning so she went ahead with a double mastectomy. LaShaun thought because she had no family history she didn’t need to worry about breast cancer. Now, she’s urging other women to take their breast health seriously and get checked out. Not only is getting your yearly mammogram after 40 important. But knowing your breast density is key to comprehensive breast health. A regular mammogram may not detect cancer if your breast tissue is too dense, so further testing may be necessary.
Also in the video, Dr. Onalisa Winblad with The University of Kansas Cancer Center says that breast density is not something your doctor can see during a regular breast exam, but it’s what a radiologist sees when they look at your mammogram results.
She says to keep in mind having dense breasts not only makes it more difficult to find cancerous tissue but women are more at risk of getting breast cancer, and at least 40 percent of women who get their regular mammograms have dense breasts.
Many states require breast screening facilities to notify women if they have dense breast tissue, but not all. So it’s important to get additional screening if necessary.
The KU Cancer Center offers what’s known at an abbreviated or fast breast MRI. It can be performed in less than 10 minutes. It’s a quick and convenient way to get that further testing.