Jan's Story


Name: Jan
State: Connecticut 
Date of Diagnosis: November 29, 2012
Age of Diagnosis: 65
Stage of Diagnosis: Stage 1B
Time from "normal" mammogram to diagnosis: One week 
How was cancer detected?: by ultrasound  

Because I live in Connecticut... the first state in the nation to enact density reporting legislation in 2009 ... I have been following up my "normal Happygram" immediately with a breast ultrasound, at my radiologist's suggestion. My 1 cm lesion, invisible by mammography, showed up clear as day on ultrasound which was later determined to be INVASIVE stage 1B breast cancer. 

Following a lumpectomy, chemotherphy and radiation, I felt compelled to find out WHO was responsible for saving me from a delayed, late-stage breast cancer diagnosis and another year of false security. After researching, I found the AreYouDense.org website and read about the founder of Are You Dense, Inc.  I picked up the phone and said, "Hello, Dr. Nancy Cappello? This is Jan. Thank YOU for saving my life. I love you. What can I do to help?" 

Since that day, I am spreading the word about the impact of Dense Breast Tissue on MISSED/DELAYED and later stage breast cancer.  What if I did not live in Connecticut and my invasive cancer was continually missed by mammography becasue of my dense breast tissue?  I would be writing a different story now - one clearly more tragic - with NO mention of an EARLY diagnosis.

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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.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #1:

    Breast density is one of the strongest predictors of the failure of mammography screening to detect cancer.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #2:

    Two-thirds of pre-menopausal women and 1/4 of post menopausal women have dense breast tissue. 

  • Are You Dense? Fact #3:

    Adding more sensitive tests to mammography significantly increase detection of invasive cancers that are small and node negative.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #4:

    American College of Radiology describes women with "Dense Breast Tissue" as having a higher than average risk of Breast Cancer.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #5:

    While a mammogram detects 98% of cancers in women with fatty breasts, it finds only 48% in women with the densest breasts.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #6:

    A woman at average risk and a woman at high risk have an EQUAL chance of having their cancer masked by mammogram.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #7:

    Women with dense breasts who had breast cancer have a four times higher risk of recurrence than women with less-dense breasts.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #8:

    A substantial proportion of Breast Cancer can be attributed to high breast density alone.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #9:

    Cancer turns up five times more often in women with extremely dense breasts than those with the most fatty tissue.

  • Are You Dense? Fact #10

    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.