“Let’s Talk” Dense Breasts Event

Going in for an annual mammogram may seem like a no brainer (with a hint of nerve bugs), right?  Well, here is the thing: not every mammogram is perfect. Sometimes, they can miss cancer detection in dense breasts. And MISSING cancer detection is an incredibly scary thought.

Here is an article on GE Reports with a bit more information about my experience getting an ultrasound on my dense breasts: http://www.gereports.com/post/101089817640/dont-let-breast-cancer-hit-you-like-a-snowball-in-a

Tomorrow I am honored and excited to participate in an important panel called “Let’s Talk” Dense Breasts. It is a Google+ event (my first time!) moderated by Carol Evans, President and Founder of Working Mother Media. It features advice from healthcare professionals Nurse Barb Dehn, Dr. Jessie Jacob, and yours truly!

This panel of experts who understands or has experience living with dense breasts firsthand is joining together to discuss what every woman needs to know:

  1. How you can find out if you have dense breasts,
  2. Risk factors associated with breast density,
  3. New legislation in certain states that gives you the right to more information, and
  4. How to talk with your doctor about whether additional testing may be right for you.

We will provide valuable insight on a variety of breast exam options available beyond the mammogram. You can also submit your own questions for the panel to engage in an open conversation on all issues with dense breasts.

This is a topic I think every woman needs to know about – her breast health. To attend, just add the “Let’s Talk” Dense Breasts Event on Google+, taking place tomorrow, October 8, from 9-10am ET.

‘Let’s Talk’ and learn more about breast density together.

RSVP is required. Click here to do so: Google Hangout.

Hope to “see” you tomorrow!



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  1. says

    Hello Hollye,
    Your book was a gift from a dear friend last April. she gave it to me over dinner in New York as I was there seeing doctors at Weill Cornell to determine the best course of action for my newly (in Florida where I live) diagnosed breast cancer.
    Being a positive person but also one with a need to learn everything there is to learn about a problem or hurdle in order to feel fully equipped to make informed decisions, I could relate to your frame of mind and conscious decision to not only find silver linings but to cherish the fortification that they would bring.
    As it turns out, my type and stage were the same as yours and the protocol was the same except that I had chemotherapy prior to a mastectomy and thus far, I have not experienced lymphadema although it has only been three weeks since the surgery. The extreme reactions to the chemo drugs and in the end, interstitial pneumonitis that set in after my second Taxol infusion prompted my doctors to agree to stop the remaining two treatments.
    But this is not the part of my story that I am reaching out about but rather seeing the panel discussion (that I missed) regarding dense breast tissue caught my eye. As someone who has (had?…wow first time I had to “say” that) dense breasts, my cancer was missed twice by the same radiologist physician in an 18 month period. In February of this year (my birth month) I went to see my gynecologist for a check up and mammogram. I had undergone a hysterectomy in October of 2012. After the hysterectomy and while I was still in the hospital from that surgery I received my first hot flash. Prior to that surgery I was still having periods every month at the age of 51! My doctor suggested that I start using an estrogen product that he said would alleviate the hot flashes and also be good for me in other ways as well. The product is called Evamist. He cited studies that showed how estrogen used alone was safe if one did not have a uterus.
    So back to this past February- The week after my routine mammogram and breast exam, I came home from work on a Wednesday to find a letter in my mail box saying that there were no cancerous lesions in my breasts and that they would see me next year. At the bottom of the letter, one sentence in the language describing my breasts, there is mention of my “dense breast tissue.” I have a copy of the same letter with a prior date from the mammogram of October 2012 as well. I received this letter on the Wednesday after my mammogram and found what turned out to be a 2 inch estrogen receptor positive tumor in my left breast in the shower on Friday…the letter was still on the island in my kitchen. The doctor missed it. The mammogram(s) missed it.
    At some point at the start of my chemo this summer and after a few calls that I did not return from my gynecologist, I received a letter of apology stating that ” he had failed me and so had the radiology doctor. It took me about a week to be able to even open the letter once I received it.
    I have always lived a very healthy lifestyle and am an avid runner, it was a shock to be sidelined by a diagnosis of breast cancer. I am a Realtor in south Florida and my year started off so well…

    The local newspaper printed an insert they call the “pink pages” last week and featured me in their editorial section. In the interview, I wanted there to be discussion about mammograms and caution to not think that they are the sole barometer for detecting breast cancer and that a woman who has dense breast tissue MUST be educated about here type of tissue so that she can qualify for a breast MRI or ultrasound and that it is covered be insurance as well. They did not add that bit of precious information as they said they are trying to just get woman to have a mammogram and that was tough enough.

    After all of these months of treatment, I have learned that there are many important aspects of health and well being that many doctors just simply don’t know or their opinions and/or knowledge base is simply lacking. I do blame my breast cancer..at least as far as it had time to progress…on the missed mammograms, on the Evamist usage prescribed by my at the time, trusted doctor. If it had been caught earlier, at least I would not have had to undergo chemo or radiation or perhaps a bi-lateral mastectomy.

    If there is a way to listen to the panel discussion, please let me know. I would be most interested in hearing what was said. Thank you for writing such a sweet and honest as well as helpful account of your treatment process. It helped me a great deal…especially in the beginning.

    I wish you all the best Hollye,

    Laurie Overton

    PS- I am working on setting my own wordpress blog and transferring an existing blog that I started a while back entitled: SeekMoveNest. It is a real estate and lifestyle blog but I will be adding a breast cancer piece as well now. 🙂