Shannon wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary when she went to her annual mammogram appointment in 2016. An active and healthy 46-year-old with no known family history of breast cancer, Shannon never considered herself at risk. According to the National Institutes of Health, just 12.4 percent of U.S. women will develop breast cancer, so most will never have it. “I have always been so fastidious about my mammograms, and no one in my family has breast cancer,” Shannon said. “So when I received the diagnosis in 2017, I was shocked.”
Shannon had breast tumors that were indicative of stage three triple-negative breast cancer, a diagnosis that was also unexpected. Shannon’s tumors were treated and shrank significantly as a result of her chemotherapy, and she had surgery in late July, followed by radiation to remove any residual tumors. She remains a true believer in and advocate for annual screenings; screenings are vital because early detection helps find cancer when it’s easiest to treat, or they can continue to provide the peace of mind most women receive from them.