My Breast Cancer Story

My name is Henda Salmeron and I have dense breast tissue, Let me tell you my story . . . .

On June 9, 2009 at 8:30am I learned that I had breast cancer and a 4cm tumor after a clear mammogram 6 months earlier. I also learned that I have dense breast tissue and that mammography can fail to detect tumors in dense breast tissue.

Breast density refers to the proportions of fat and tissue in the breasts as seen on a mammogram. High density breasts have a greater proportion of tissue than fat and low density breasts have a greater proportion of fat than tissue.

During my treatments, I discovered that several studies had been done [on the issue], and that all my previous mammograms indicated that I had dense breast tissue.  Information about my health was kept from me. When I asked why doctors don’t tell women about breast density, the answer is: ‘It’s not standard protocol.’ Well, you know what? I had stage 2 breast cancer, and that is not a good enough response. Period.

Women need to know: YOU NEED TO KNOW!

  • The link between breast density and breast cancer risk has been demonstrated in multiple clinical studies.
  • Women with high breast density have a 4 to 5 times higher risk of breast cancer than women with little or no density, according to a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting.
  • Data published in 2008 from the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) 6666 trial showed that more than half of women younger than 50 have dense breast tissue and one-third of women older than 50.
  • Mammography’s sensitivity for women with dense breast tissue can be as low as 30% to 48%, with higher interval cancer rates and worse prognosis for the resulting clinically detected cancers.

I consider myself extremely lucky! After two lumpectomies and radiation, I had my first 6 month post cancer screening in December 2009. I celebrated by 8 years of being cancer free in June 2017. I’m so grateful.

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