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My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, and had a mastectomy and several weeks of chemo. I had regular mammograms prior to that, but after her experience, had them yearly. I've had a couple of biopsies that turned out to be nothing, but last fall, I was diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). After an MRI to see if there were more areas of involvement (and there were, some of which were microinvasive), I decided on bilateral mastectomy with reconstructive surgery. I am 53 years old, and although the recovery process has not been a breeze, I have been extremely lucky and blessed to have loving family and friends beside me for support. The cancer was caught very early and had not spread to the sentinel nodes, so no chemo or radiation was necessary. Mammograms are not the horrible experiences they once were (and I've been having them for over 30 years, so I know!) so don't let anybody's horror stories stop you from regular screening. Had I not gone for my regular mammogram, what was for the most part non-invasive cancer could have been a different case entirely. Early detection and aggressive treatment is key. They are only boobs, and they can be replaced, but a life is much more important and irreplaceable--get those mammogams early and as often as recommended for your medical and family history. I am one of the lucky ones--and blessed beyond measure! :)

Karen F. Ellis
Frankfort, KY

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Your click on the "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button helps fund free mammograms for women in need — low-income, inner-city and minority women whose awareness of breast cancer and opportunity for help is often limited. Your click is paid for by site sponsors, and mammogram funding is provided to clinics throughout the U.S. through grants distributed by With a simple, daily click of the pink "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Breast Cancer Site, visitors help to provide free mammograms for women in need. Visitors pay nothing. In addition to clicking the pink "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button, visitors can help more by shopping in The Breast Cancer Site store. With each item purchased, shoppers generate funds that provide free mammograms for women in need.

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