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Woman Denied Mammogram Because She is “Young,” Finds Out She Has Stage 4 Cancer After 8 Months

Woman Denied Mammogram Because She is “Young,” Finds Out She Has Stage 4 Cancer After 8 Months

She publicly shared her experience to inspire others to 'push for answers when something feels off in their bodies'.

A woman from California received her stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis eight months after being denied a mammogram twice due to her young age and family history. In a three-minute video she made in July, TikTok user Philecia La'Bounty, who blogs about her battle with breast cancer, describes how she first felt a lump in 2018, reports PEOPLE.

She said that she felt, "a little smaller than a marble," and, "definitely did not feel like my breast tissue." Since she didn't have insurance at the time, La'Bounty went to a free clinic in Long Beach, California, for an ultrasound, according to her TikTok video. 



 

 

She said, "At that time I was 29 years old — it literally came back on the paperwork: 'denied due to age and no family history,' " She resubmitted her request, but this time it was again rejected, per Insider.

La'Bounty, 35, said, "I had perfect bloodwork, no other symptoms, no other masses, so they denied any other treatment, told me I was too young to have breast cancer, that I was healthy, it was just a cyst, and come back if it bothered." She went back to the Long Beach clinic eight months later because the lump had increased, "eight centimeters into my left breast and was very bothersome."

She added, "When I went back this time, it was an emergency mammogram, emergency ultrasound — while she was doing the ultrasound she kept going out for opinion and coming back in, and that's exactly when I knew that it was cancer."



 

 

According to La'Bounty, she will probably need to undergo periodic chemotherapy treatments for the rest of her life. She says she publicly shared her experience to inspire others to "push for answers when something feels off in their bodies." 

She said, "Had I seen someone that I related to, that was posting about this, I would have taken my situation more seriously. I would have fought harder. I would have found a way to pay for a mammogram." She added, "If I can save one life that's worth everything I posted."

She was then directed to a breast cancer facility at City of Hope in Duarte, California. She said, "That's where I had eight biopsies, I forget how many in each breast and one in my armpit. The next day, following that, I had an emergency PET scan and MRI." She was later identified as having stage 4 breast cancer that had spread to her sternum, lymph nodes, and lungs. According to her TikTok video, she received six rounds of chemotherapy right away.

One round of these included a drug she described as, "the red devil," a nickname for the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin. The drug's red color gives it the nickname, and while it fights cancer, it is known to damage the cardiovascular system. Prior to beginning her first round of chemotherapy, La'Bounty heard that chemotherapy may render her infertile and she froze 10 eggs.

She said, "I've always wanted to carry my own children. That's something I'm still in therapy for today." 

References:

https://people.com/health/woman-too-young-for-a-mammogram-8-months-later-she-was-diagnosed-with-stage-4-breast-cancer/

https://www.insider.com/woman-29-was-denied-mammogram-has-stage-4-breast-cancer-2022-8

Cover Image Source: Philecia/Instagram