Breast Cancer

Our current situation: Each year we have Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with lots of pink clothing and fundraising walks and runs. And the message most of us know is that women should get mammograms. But many women are not getting additional information that is vitally important. My wife is a perfect example.

In 2012 she was concerned about a breast lump, but her January 2013 mammogram was negative. When she was more concerned in June, an ultrasound and MRI showed she had stage 3 breast cancer.

By the grace of God, and excellent medical care, I am happy to report, she is now completely healthy! But with an earlier diagnosis, it might have been better. And without her persistence, it could have been a lot worse. Our families need valuable information which I will share below.

My solution: The most important thing I have learned regarding breast cancer in the legislature is that 30 to 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue.

According to the Mayo Clinic, if medical staff rely solely on mammograms, 60 percent or more of breast cancer may be missed. I have seen that mammogram reports now include this information. However, I use every opportunity I have to encourage breast cancer organizations to more publicly disseminate this information, which I believe can save lives.