Mammogram time? 38-year-old breast cancer patient warns against waiting

Health

THORNTON, Colo. (KDVR) — Amanda Felkey is a 38-year-old mother from Northglenn who is still adjusting to her recent breast cancer diagnosis.

“It’s kind of scary and overwhelming,” Felkey said.

She is young but has a family history of breast cancer, so just before the pandemic, her doctor told her to get a mammogram.

“Then COVID hit, so my thought was, ‘Well, it’s COVID,’ and I couldn’t go to the hospital, so I put it off,” she said.

Then earlier this year she felt a lump — and once again she put off the mammogram.

“I put it off not only because I was nervous, but also because I thought I was too young,” Felkey said.

Eventually, she had the imaging and a biopsy, and she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Putting off mammogram gives cancer ‘more time to progress’

Felkey’s surgeon at North Suburban Medical Center in Thornton says too many women put off their mammograms.

If cancer is present, that gives it time to grow.

“It can lead to worse outcomes just based on the fact that the cancer has had more time to progress. So, our recommendation is to get back to screening,” Dr. Stephanie Miller said.

Felkey is grateful doctors caught her cancer when they did. She will have surgery in November and is feeling optimistic.

As she looks forward, she has this reminder to others.

Doctors recommend a mammogram for women age 40 and up. But if you have a family history or a lump, they may recommend one sooner.

“Don’t put it off,” Felkey said. “It is very important if you find anything, you see something, you feel something, to have it checked out.”

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