Holmen survivor shares message with others who think they are too young for breast cancer

October is breast cancer awareness month

HOLMEN, Wis. (WKBT)- Every year, more than 1,000 women under age 40 die from breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, cases among young women are rising. A Holmen survivor has a message for the women who think they’re too young for the disease

Some people are called to serve. Lindsy Conrad served nine years with the Army National Guard. Today, this mother of three is on the most important mission of her life- to keep winning the battle cancer waged on her body. Linsy was 36 years old when she was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. “It took my breath away. It was scary, ” says Conrad.

Mayo Clinic Breast Surgeon, Dr. Amy Lloyd says Lindsy’s story is not unique. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 15 to 39. “We’re actually seeing this more and more, all over the United States. Younger patients are developing breast cancer at an earlier age, ” says Lloyd.

According to the Young Survivor Coalition, nearly 80% of young women diagnosed with breast cancer find it themselves. Lindsy found her lump while in the shower, and immediately called her mom. Jackie Conrad works at Mayo Clinic as a mammogram technician. “I was in shock cause I kind of knew in my heart this was the real deal, ” says Jackie.

With the support of her doctors and family, Lindsy had a lumpectomy, completed five months of chemotherapy, and weeks of radiation. To celebrate the end of treatment, Lindsy rang the bell in her doctor’s office. This February, Lindsy will reach another milestone- one-year cancer-free. “When you’re living it every day you don’t really think about it. It’s, it’s really something to think that you actually made it through such a hard time, ” says Lindsy.

Lindsy won her battle against breast cancer, but her war isn’t over. She’s joined a growing army of young survivors. Sharing her story is only the beginning. “I want to do something about it. I want to do more for our community and the people who are facing this illness, ” says Lindsy.

Doctors say women of all ages should do a self-breast exam every month. By 40, or younger if they have a family history of breast cancer, women should have a yearly mammogram. If you’re uninsured and live in Wisconsin, you may be eligible to get a mammogram at no cost. Click here for more information about the Wisconsin Well Woman program.

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