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Jeanne's Endo Blog: Endometriosis Patients Are At Increased Risk For Breast Cancer... Have You Had Your Mammogram?? (UPDATED With Resources)

Due to family history (benign lumpectomy in first degree relative) and my personal, long-standing history of fibrocystic breasts, I received my first mammogram at age 37. It was normal. I was advised to return in 3 years. I just turned 40. So it was time for my next mammogram. A few days ago, I had one. It was normal. I thought I'd write a blog post about breast cancer here because research shows that women with endometriosis are at increased risk for certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.

Update added here:


Addititonal resources...

Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program)

Susan G. Komen for the Cure “Early Detection and Screening”

See below for more details...

Excerpt below is taken from this link from the Endometriosis Association (EA's Research Page - "Environmental Health Watch" Section):

"This landmark study has been followed by other research which supports these findings, including recent studies which reveal that women with endometriosis and their families have a greater risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and melanoma".

This public service announcement was posted on YouTube on June 19, 2008. Here is its description: "Powerful new breast cancer psa using showing the devastating effects of breast cancer from a male point of view from Serve Marketing"

January 12, 2009



CBS News Story dated January 12, 2009: "A medical breakthrough in England could help keep the breast cancer gene from being passed on to future generations. Teri Okita reports".

This is info about the genes discussed in the video clip above:

BRCA 1 and 2: a pair of genes involved in breast cancer

Have you had your mammogram?

Related links:

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2008 Endosulfan Pesticide Banned in New Zealand: Endometriosis, Infertility, Breast Cancer & Pesticides...

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2008 Phthalates And Other Toxic Chemicals... What Are They And Why Should We Care??

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2008 Endometriosis Blog: The Increased Risk Of Breast Cancer For Endometriosis Patients

This article was posted by Jeanne via "Jeanne's Endo Blog" at www.endendoat.blogspot.com.


Anonymous said...

I'm horrible....I don't even do the monthly at-home breast checks....

Shauna said...

Hope you have a beautiful weekend! ♥ Hugs :)

Mckay K said...

Jeanne that first video was so powerful and the second one very informative.

I like visiting you. I always learn something new. I was not aware that scientist were already selecting embryo by whether or not there was a particular gen for cancer present.

No, I have not had my mammogram. I missed my appointment. No excuses just the truth. Thanks for the reminder.

My Endo Journey said...

Thanks for the post! I work in Breast Cancer research. Mammograms and self exams are SOOOOO important!

Kelly D. said...

This information is a good reason more attention should be focused on endometriosis - it could help women plan their health care better.

Jeanne said...


It's very difficult, in my personal experience, to do effective self-exams when one has fibrocystic breasts.

The very same day of my mammogram, I had a lump that felt bigger and in a different spot than in the past... but I came away from the mammogram with flying colors.

As many times as I've heard the lecture, "look for something that feels different or is in a different spot than before"... I have just never been able to tell myself, "oh that's just a cyst".

It's one of those things where you do the best you can keeping track of things, trust your doctors as best you can (obviously listening to your gut and obtaining a second opinion if you ever feel it's necessary), let your doctors know if you have any concerns, see if they think any mammograms are necessary, and get any mammograms as soon as they are scheduled to be done - without fail.

Different insurance has different rules.

In my case, because I had a history of fibrocystic breasts and because I have a first degree relative who had a lumpectomy (which was benign), my doctor ordered my first mammogram to take place at 37 years old (which was covered by insurance, in my particular case).

That mammogram came back normal and they told me to return in 3 years/at 40 years old.

They weren't kidding about the timing. Literally, for insurance to cover it, my mammogram had to be scheduled once my 40th birthday had occurred.

So scheduling it even a couple of weeks before my 40th birthday would not have been covered (with my insurance).

For women who do not have health insurance, there are some options available for obtaining coverage for this important test.

Here are a couple of links that I did not include in the original post.

I'm going to update the post to reflect these additions:



Catching breast cancer early is so very important!

Anytime that I am unsure of what's going on, I just have my doctor check me because I honestly cannot tell what is/isn't just a cyst no matter how many times doctors have tried explaining to to me.

I have had doctors over the years show me a breast model which was supposed to demonstrate the difference between what a cyst feels like versus what a tumor feels like. (Each felt the same to me)! I've heard all about the difference between whether it's movable or not, etc.

The way I look at it is "better safe than sorry".

So, when in doubt, I just have my doctor check things out as often as needed.

I figure it can't hurt to err on the side of caution.


Jeanne said...


Thank you! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! ♥


Jannie Funster said...

I know I need to get one.

Jeanne said...

Mckay k,

I'm glad you liked the videos.

I like visiting your blog too! You have such interesting posts and your perspective is fresh and creative... and always brimming with gratitude in spite of your many illnesses.

I wasn't aware of the info on BRCA 1 and 2 either until I came across this recent new clip. I hadn't heard anything about it.

If anything about this post can help give you that extra little tiny nudge to get your mammogram, then I will have accomplished exactly what I set out to do by posting it... reminding people to take advantage of this technology...

You don't owe anyone any explanations. You are famous for always speaking the truth and I would never expect anything less from you. :)

We who are chronically ill know how easy it is to miss appointments! It is very difficult to keep up with it all.

If my post can remind just one person to set up her mammogram, I will be very happy.


Jeanne said...

Hi Kelly,

As important as it is for all women to get their mammograms, I think it's especially important for women with increased risk factors (such as endometriosis patients) to know that it is particularly crucial for them.

I absolutely agree with you that far more attention should be paid to endometriosis. This is yet another example of why awareness and proper/timely diagnosis is so very important!


Jeanne said...

My Endo Journey,

I couldn't agree with you more. It's so important!!!


Jeanne said...

Jannie, Jannie, Jannie,

What are you waiting for?? Just because you're the 'Funster' doesn't mean you can NEVER do something serious. C'mon! What are you waiting for? Think about it. You read this post for a reason, don't you think??


P.S. Once you have gotten yours done, please post back here to inspire others to do theirs. :) C'mon... I know you can do it. Think of this as an opporunity of giving others a little nudge. It's not that hard! Go for it!

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