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Wondering if anyone else has experience with breast cancer screenings in their 20s? I started getting breast MRIs last year after my older sister was diagnosed with Stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer at age 37. Given how young she was and how aggressive the cancer is, her doctors recommended that my sisters and I begin annual screenings immediately.
The process of getting the MRI was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done — it required genetic testing to see if I had a cancer-causing gene mutation (thankfully I don’t, though my risk of getting breast cancer is about 50%) and I had to submit a ton of proof that I was even eligible to get these screenings. The amount of paperwork alone was insane. Eventually I was told that I’m too young for a mammogram because breasts are too dense to detect cancer before age 30, so I had to get a breast MRI instead. Once I turn 30, I’ll have to have both types of screenings every single year.
Since last year, another one of my sisters has been diagnosed with cancer (Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma) that was, ironically, detected during her mammogram when her doctor noticed an enflamed thyroid near her breast. It appears that her cancer isn’t at all linked to my other sister’s breast cancer, it’s just a freak coincidence.
I guess I’m sharing this to see if anyone else has had to start dealing with regular cancer screenings or genetic testing in their 20s, or has also had siblings/multiple siblings with cancer. It’s such a weird club to be in that it can feel really isolating, so any similar experience would help.