Tami's Story



Date of diagnosis:

June 2, 2017

Age at time of diagnosis: 


Stage of diagnosis: 

Stage 1A          
Last 'NORMAL'              Mammogram:

Felt a lump & followed up immediately with exam by Nurse Practitioner who felt lump & other mass/neither seen on diagnostic mammo even after markings.

How was cancer diagnosed?

Mass felt by Tami/Not seen on 3D Mammography/confirmed by ultrasound.

Tami's Story:
I am a 50 yr old active healthy plant-based vegan. In early May 2017, I found a small lump by chance. I was not doing a manual exam. I went in mid-May and had a manual clinical exam, 3D mammogram and ultrasound at a breast center. The 3D mammogram report stated I had 'extremely dense breast tissue' and they didn't see anything - all looked normal. Then I had a ultrasound the same day which showed a mass that was 'suspicious.' No biopsy was done as that visit.

I wanted a second opinion at a local diagnosis center that I trusted. So I had a subsequent 2nd ultrasound in early June 2017. The radiologist agreed that the mass was suspicious and a biopsy was performed the same day. Within 2 days I had results, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, stage 1A.

I was lucky as my cancer, while invasive, was small with no involved nodes. I had a lumpectomy and I chose, with the support of my oncologist to refrain from medication and radiation.

If my cancer was detected at a later stage, my story I'm sure would have been different. My cancer was never seen on my 3D mammography. If I had not felt something suspicious and had it checked out immediately when would it have been caught? 

Nobody has EVER told me that I have more risk of cancer because I have dense breast tissue! They also never told me to go have more screening tests such as ultrasound because of my dense breast tissue.

Now that I have had breast cancer and have dense breast tissue, I will never have another mammogram. My oncologist supports my opinion on that. Only ultrasounds or MRI will be performed on me.

Thousands of women with dense breast tissue need better screening tools such as ultrasounds vs mammograms that cannot see our tumors!

I am sharing this with anyone who will listen. I don't want other women to learn this information the way I did. 

Tami and her family

tami family.JPG


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  • 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.