Be The Change

Debbie DeGraw

Be The Change March 24, 2022

My Density Matters – this statement couldn’t be truer for me. I was diagnosed in January 2022 with stage IV metastatic breast cancer. What a big surprise when all my previous mammograms were normal, the last one being January 2021. 

Since this diagnosis, which turned my world upside down, I had plans for retirement a few years down the road, and many other plans that may not happen now. I couldn’t understand how I could be Stage IV – I did everything right! How could this be? How long did I have cancer in my body for it to get to that stage?

I was angry, depressed, scared, and numb. Rather than sit and wallow in ‘WHY ME’ I decided to get educated. I learned very quickly that I had been misinformed and received inadequate screening. I have dense breasts. I was told a 3D mammogram was sufficient. WRONG! I should have received other screenings to accompany it.

The cancer I have is called Lobular carcinoma known as the “SNEAKY CANCER”. It hides, it appears in lines on a mammogram, and is hard to detect in dense breasts. This prompted me to post on my Facebook page about everything I was learning to help save other women from the fate I now face. Because of this diagnosis, I will potentially lose years off my life, I can’t do the things I did previously, not to mention the emotional and physical impact it has put on me, my husband, and my family.

Through this process, I met Leslie Ferris Yerger through a mutual friend and contact. Leslie has the same cancer as I do, and is educating people about the inadequacies of our current breast cancer screening norms for women with dense breasts. Leslie is using her diagnosis to save lives. I am very happy I learned of My Density Matters, and I participated in ‘Find Out My Breast Density Day’ on 2/22/22.

I wish I had known about this a year or two years ago. It may have changed my diagnosis. I urge everyone to share the My Density Matters information with your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, everyone and anyone, and remember breast cancer happens to men too!  I shared information with my family and co-workers who did not know about dense breasts and the risks, and as a result I had about 15 people request different screenings and maybe even saved their life.

I urge you to share this website – you may save your life or the life of someone you know or love.

 We need more education on dense breasts and essential additional breast cancer screening options.

Join us in sharing MY DENSITY MATTERS and ‘Be the Change’ because breast density matters!