Being proactive when diagnosed with dense breasts

Posted at 3:29 PM, Oct 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-13 04:22:07-04

Sandy Strader thought everything was fine after her mammogram.

"It came back that I had dense breast tissue and that they would see me in a year. And I was happy and I saw the letter and then I threw it in the garbage," she said.

No one told her that dense breasts show up cloudy in a mammogram, making detecting cancer a challenge.

A year later she was diagnosed with stage three cancer.

She wishes someone had told her that there are options when diagnosed with dense breasts, options such as an ultrasound.

Not all states have breast density inform laws.

"Once you are diagnosed with dense breasts, you should be told what it is and a formal diagnosis versus a letter in the mail," Sandy said.

Her doctor, Dr. Lynda Frye with the Breast Center at Jupiter Medical Center agrees, "It's educating the community and the physicians."
She says about 50 percent of patients have dense breasts. Access to other options beyond mammograms could help save more lives.

Frye said, "I think putting pressure on insurance companies to include ultrasounds as the screening part of a patient's annual exam if they have dense breasts."

Sandy's advice to other people after almost one year of being a breast cancer survivor is, "Stay proactive, or become proactive and be the best advocate you can be for yourself."