Mammogram failed to find second cancer on Linda who had breast cancer 7 years before!Name: Linda Meola
Date of Diagnosis: December 3, 2008
Age at Diagnosis: 53
Time from "normal" mammogram to cancer diagnosis: 0 to 3 months
How was cancer detected: By me
Linda's story: I was first diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer in April of 1997. I was 41 years old at the time. In October of 2001, my blood markers spiked out of range but my doctor told me the test was not that reliable and further testing would probably just result in costly lab work. I continued to have annual mammograms and exams but in November of 2008, at the age of 52, I found a lump in my auxilla. It turned out to be Stage III breast cancer that mammograms had missed for seven years. Even when the tumor site was known, with my body jammed sideways into the machine, mammogams could not detect the lump. Why didn't my doctors use an MRI or Ultrasound to follow me after the first diagnosis? I am 53 years old and the medical failure of mammograms has reduced my chances for a full life.