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Breast Cancer Screening

Debra’s Story: “Learn from my journey”

June 18, 2024
Doctor comforting patient in office

About a decade ago, while working for a health facility, Debra played a key role in bringing lifesaving 3D Mammography™ exam to her workplace. This same technology later detected her own breast cancer. Now a 10-year breast cancer survivor, Debra continues to share her story.

Championing A Better Mammogram

Flash back to 2012, Debra Flores worked at a large health facility where she was part of a team advocating for the addition of 3D Mammography™ exam at their breast health center. She learned about the benefits of this technology and quickly knew that her center needed to adopt it to better serve women in their community. Little did Debra know that she would soon directly benefit from the new technology herself.

Although discussions around dense breast tissue were not as prevalent at the time, Debra was aware of her own dense breast tissue from previous mammograms. Coupled with a family history of breast cancer, she remained steadfast in sticking to her screening plan.

Most insurance plans now cover 3D mammographyTM exam, but unfortunately at that time, Debra’s insurance did not. Despite this, Debra decided to go ahead anyway – and she’s forever grateful she did.

A Full-Circle Moment

Debra’s breast cancer was detected by the same system she’d advocated bringing to her breast health center. She also underwent a breast ultrasound and biopsy, which confirmed her diagnosis.
For Debra, it was almost like reliving her advocacy work to bring the system to her center. When the radiologist compared the scans of her breast tissue, demonstrating how certain details were only visible in the 3D™ images, it was a moment of realization. From that instant, Debra understood that advocating for this technology at her center wasn’t enough – “Other women need to know about this.”

Empowering Others for Over a Decade

The same week as her diagnosis, Debra spoke at her church, highlighting the significance of the advanced screening. She explained her story to show the advantages of enhanced imaging and stressed the importance of getting regular mammograms.

But her story doesn’t end there. Debra is now celebrating 10 years of breast cancer survivorship!

She’s also spent over a decade empowering other women as an advocate for 3D Mammography™ exam. After her treatment, Debra became a self-appointed spokesperson for this technology, sharing her experience widely. She’s often amazed to learn that the information she shares has made a difference in people’s diagnoses and potentially saved lives.

Own Your Breast Health

Debra tells her story as a way to educate others about the importance of early detection. Because her breast cancer was caught early, her treatment was less invasive. “If I had waited, my treatment likely would have been more complex. Getting that 3D™ mammogram that day saved my life, and it might save yours too.”

Debra stresses the need to spread awareness about this technology, especially among those who may not have enough information or access to it. She encourages women without healthcare access to attend mobile mammography events and free screenings. Debra wants more women to feel comfortable discussing what they don’t know, allowing for open conversations. “Understanding your body helps you notice when something’s wrong and advocate for yourself better. My hope is that you learn more about these resources and prioritize getting screened.”

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