In the United States, there are roughly 264,000 cases of breast cancer diagnosed in women each year. That’s why it’s recommended that most women get annual mammograms starting at age 40. For many of us, it’s easy to put these preventive screenings on the backburner — but they couldn‘t be more important.
Take it from First Stop Health Virtual Primary Care Nurse Jen Trudeau, whose personal experience beating breast cancer started with an annual doctor visit.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month was never on my radar.
I would notice that October was full of pink ribbons and mammogram reminders, but it wasn’t something that affected me. My thoughts were always that I’m one of the lucky ones. Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family. I’ve not had any extended family or close friends diagnosed with it. And I’ve got my age on my side — I’m just under 40.
At a routine wellness visit, my doctor recommended that, because I was turning 40 soon, I get a mammogram to establish a baseline for the future. I thought nothing of it: It was just something I needed to get done and mark off the to-do list.
Now, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has a new meaning to me. Thankfulness and hope. My mammogram showed a spot of abnormal cells which led to a breast cancer diagnosis. I received quick treatment and a great prognosis because of early detection.
I am beyond thankful to my doctor for doing her due diligence and ordering the test and for the amazing team that helped me process my diagnosis, treat it, and beat it. I have hope. Hope for my own future. And hope that my experience can encourage more women to get their mammograms done for prevention and early detection.
Registered Nurse and Breast Cancer Survivor 2022
Learn more about how First Stop Health Virtual Primary Care can help assess your breast cancer risk.