Donna Marie Johnson, BA in History is the Community Relations Liaison for Diagnostic Radiology Associates, a private radiology practice located in Waterbury and Middlebury Connecticut. Donna has been with DRA for 16 years helping to spread the word about the importance of breast cancer screening and preventative breast health. She has worked on many fund raisers for organizations such as Waterbury Hospital, Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center, Relay for Life and other health related organizations. Donna believes that women need to be informed and empowered about their own health and has joined the Board of Are You Dense Inc. to help spread the word about breast density to women across the country. She lives in Woodbury with her husband Jim and their two daughters.
Kathleen A. McPadden, MSOB, has worked in the field of Human Resources/Organization Development for 28 years in the banking field. She resides in Naugatuck. Along with her affiliation with Are You Dense Inc. Kathy has been an advocate for cancer research since her niece experienced cancer at age three. She has participated in the Relay For Life of Greater Waterbury for many years, is involved various organizations including Jane Doe No More, Wellmore Behavioral Health, the YMCA of Naugatuck and the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls, Inc. Kathy’s experience with breast cancer has been through the pain and suffering of loved ones and co-workers who have battled the disease. Kathy first learned of Are You Dense Inc. when she attended the Are You Dense MusicFest in 2010 and she has been passionate about the mission of the organization ever since.
Susan Christian is a wife and mother of two children. She worked in the Aerospace and Defense Industry as a Senior Purchasing Agent for over 15 years. Through Dr. Cappello and her husband Joe, Susan began volunteering for the Are You Dense Inc.’s MusicFest Benefit. She instantly had a passion for the organization because of its Mission for the right of women to know their breast density and its goal of offering support and education needed in the fight against later stage cancer due to dense breast tissue. Susan is proud to be part of an organization that means so much to so many.
Charlene M. German, B.S. in Computer Technology & M.S. in Management Engineering. She currently works as a Software Integrator/Software Quality Engineer for a leading semiconductor equipment manufacturer. She has worked in the semiconductor industry for more than 18 years and it was at a previous semiconductor company where a colleague introduced her to Dr. Nancy Cappello. It was then that she learned about the risks of dense breast tissue. Charlene’s mother and grandmother had breast tumors, one benign and one in-situ. As a precaution, her grandmother went through several radiation treatments. Charlene believes the key ingredients to good health are education and awareness.
Maria Duncan, a two time breast cancer survivor, is a wife and mother of two school aged children in Woodbury. She is an award-winning community newspaper journalist and former communications specialist for Griffin Hospital in Derby. She now spends time freelance writing and blogging and is a staunch advocate for early detection. She has completed two 39.3 mile AVON Walks for Breast Cancer and was one of several survivor speakers at the Boston event in 2007. She met Dr. Cappello and many wonderful women through the various breast cancer awareness events and groups that have taken place in this area. With her own family history riddled with breast cancer on both sides, Maria knows firsthand the significance of dense breast tissue as a risk for breast cancer and believes in the mission of Are You Dense Inc.and its education and outreach campaigns.
Mara Little has been working in the insurance industry for the past 24 years, working for Aetna. She is an Underwriting Unit Lead in the Network Access Business unit which was developed back in 2004. She joined the department in 2005. Mara was instrumental in developing business relationships that have flourished and have made the department one of Aetna’s highly profitable units. Mara met Dr. Cappello and her husband Joe through a mutual friend in 2008 and has been volunteering with Are You Dense since the first annual MusicFest Fundraiser. Mara is a Harley Davidson enthusiast and is also involved in the Are You Dense Inc.’s Ribbon Ride motorcycle event, which coincides with the MusicFest.
Susan Wall is a 13 year breast cancer survivor. She has a BS degree in Business Management from Albertus Magnus College and has been employed with Stanley Black & Decker in the capacity of Credit Analyst for various divisions of the company for the past 13 years. Susan has been a faithful volunteer for Are You Dense Inc. for the past 5 years; lending her enthusiasm & dedication to the mission through the fund-raising efforts at the Are You Dense MusicFest. Susan has also volunteered for the Hope Gala committee (where Dr Cappello received an Angel Award for her patient advocacy), Relay for Life, Komen/Indianapolis as well as Making Strides/Hartford, CT.
Nancy M. Cappello, Ph.D. is Executive Director and Founder of Are You Dense, Inc. which was borne out of her own tragedy of an advanced stage breast cancer diagnosis in 2004. Her late stage cancer, because of dense breast tissue, was not found by mammography even though she had yearly "normal" reports for more than a decade. In addition to her breast cancer advocacy, Dr. Cappello has an accomplished career in public education as a teacher, a building and district administrator, and a state department of education consultant and leader. She received her doctor of philosophy in Educational Administration and Leadership in 1995 from the University of Connecticut. In addition to media coverage across the globe, Dr. Cappello has presented her inspiring story of patient turned advocate throughout the U.S. in addition to venues across the globe.
Please browse the website further to learn about dense breast tissue, use the available resources, read and share stories and consider making a donation to help expose this BEST-KEPT SECRET about the limitations of mammography alone to detect cancer in women with dense breast tissues.
Are You Dense, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity. IRS Tax ID 26-3643216. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography screening to detect cancer.
Two-thirds of pre-menopausal women and 1/4 of post menopausal women have dense breast tissue.
Adding more sensitive tests to mammography significantly increase detection of invasive cancers that are small and node negative.
Cancer turns up five times more often in women with extremely dense breasts than those with the most fatty tissue.
While a mammogram detects 98% of cancers in women with fatty breasts, it finds only 48% in women with the densest breasts.
A woman at average risk and a woman at high risk have an EQUAL chance of having their cancer masked by mammogram.
Women with dense breasts who had breast cancer have a four times higher risk of recurrence than women with less-dense breasts.
A substantial proportion of Breast Cancer can be attributed to high breast density alone.
There are too many women who are unaware of their breast density, believe their “Happy Gram” when it reports no significant findings and are at risk of receiving a later stage cancer diagnosis.