“I was hoping for a routine mammogram, but that’s not how it went,” said Ali Meyer, from KFOR in Oklahoma City
When Ali Meyer, a local news reporter in Oklahoma City, decided to live-stream her first mammogram last year, she simply hoped to encourage viewers to schedule their own checkups. Instead, doctors discovered she had breast cancer.
Meyer, then 40, went into her appointment thinking that everything would look normal.
“I had no concerns; no lumps; no family history; no reason at all to think that my baseline mammogram would turn my world upside down,” she wrote in an article for her station, KFOR. “I was hoping for a routine mammogram, but that’s not how it went.”
Meyer’s radiologist discovered cancerous calcifications in her right breast, which turned out to be non-invasive ductal breast cancer, a very early stage of cancer that is easily treated. And genetic testing, which her doctors recommended because of her young age, showed that she did not have any genetic mutations for breast cancer.
Still, though, Meyer “was crushed,” especially because “there’s a catch.” After talking to several surgeons, they all agreed that she needed a mastectomy to remove her right breast to ensure that the cancer was out.
“Even though surgery was my choice, it felt like forced mutilation,” she said. “It felt like cancer was stealing part of my body away from me.”
Meyer’s surgeon was able to remove the cancerous tissue in her breast while keeping her nipple and areola intact — Meyer said her doctor “put me back together beautifully.”
Meyer said that getting a mammogram when she did made all the difference.
“My surgical options, my recovery and my outcome were all better because my mammogram found the cancer before I even knew it was there,” she said.
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And this October, one year after her diagnosis, Meyer went back for her second mammogram and emerged with happier news.
“I am thrilled and relieved to tell you my mammogram was clear, showing no signs of breast cancer,” she said.