Local 22-year-old with breast cancer has message for other young women

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DENVER -- A local 22-year-old who was diagnosed with breast cancer is encouraging other young women to do self exams and advocate for their health.

Madison Webb found the lump her senior year of college in Nebraska and says it was the size of a grape. A medical professional there told her it was likely a fibrous mass related to her menstrual cycle and to keep an eye on it.

But Webb wasn’t satisfied.

“I had a feeling that something was not right,” she said. “I kept going back.”

Then, one week after her graduation, she came home to Colorado and a series of tests confirmed that she had breast cancer that had spread to a lymph node.

It was quite a shock. Doctors say only four percent of breast cancer patients are under the age of 40. One in 1,500 are in their 20s.

Webb needed six rounds of chemotherapy. Now, she needs surgery and radiation, but her treatment is going well.

“Madison is doing great,” said Dr. William Lee,

He says mammograms aren’t usually recommended until women are in their 40s, so he is glad that Webb found the lump and pushed for follow-up.

“If you find something that is concerning, bring it to your healthcare provider,” Lee said.

Lee says women as young as 18 can start doing self-exams -- something Webb wishes she had been taught. She also hopes women will follow their instincts.

“I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned is to just listen to your body, and that you know it best, and sometimes it takes multiple opinions," Webb said.

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