Breast cancer survivor credits the Genius® 3D Mammography™ exam for saving her life

Think you’re too young to get breast cancer? Think again.


At just 35, Lindsay was diagnosed with breast cancer, which her doctor found early thanks to her persistence—and to the Genius® 3D Mammography™ exam.

Imagine if you had a history of breast and ovarian cancer on both sides of your family. You might think, ‘I better take precautions.’ But when you ask your doctor about getting a mammogram, you have to “fib” about how old your mom was when she was diagnosed because you’re supposedly too young to get breast cancer!

This is exactly what happened to Lindsay, who shares her story as a breast cancer survivor in this moving video. Her mom’s two sisters both passed away from cancer—one at just 22—and her mom had breast cancer.

“I feel really lucky that I had 3D™ mammography accessible to me. I was able to be diagnosed quickly and I was still at an early stage. That saved my life.”

“When I was 35, I talked to my doctor about wanting to get screened early for breast cancer,” says Lindsay. “They were hesitant at first, so I fibbed a bit and said my mom was younger than she was when she was diagnosed. My doctor then allowed me to have my first mammogram at 35. But I had to fight for it.”

As Lindsay’s mom, Deidre, says in the video: “She didn’t take no for an answer. And thank God she didn’t. If she had not had that mammogram at that point in time, we would have been on an entirely different journey.”

That first mammogram—a Hologic Genius® 3D Mammography™ exam—showed no signs of cancer. But a year later, when it was time again for her annual mammogram, Lindsay found a lump. “I went to the doctor, and they said it was probably a cyst because I was so young.”

Erring on the side of caution, the doctor sent her for an ultrasound, but before it was even scheduled, he decided to do a Genius™ 3D Mammography™ exam for diagnostic purposes. “That’s when I knew it wasn’t good,” says Lindsay. “The doctor came in and told me right then and there that there was a 99 percent chance that I had breast cancer. I was in shock. I just couldn’t die!”

Lindsay’s husband, Cal, and her best friend, Danielle, were extremely worried. Says Danielle: “You go to the worst case scenario, then you think, she is so young, she will pull through this because you just don’t get that sick when you are this young and have little kids.” And Cal acknowledges crying in private, saying, “It was really scary to find out that your spouse may be dying.”

Fortunately, for Lindsay and for millions of other women, the Genius® exam has been proven to be a much better way to screen for breast cancer compared to 2D mammography alone. Not only can it detect breast cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage, but it also greatly reduces the chance of callbacks.1-7 As Lindsay says in the video: “I feel really lucky that I had 3D™ mammography accessible to me. I was able to be diagnosed quickly and I was still at an early stage. That saved my life.” And that is something her family, including her two young daughters, will be externally grateful for.

Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed by third parties are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect those of Hologic.  
Reference: The Genius® 3D Mammography™ exam (a.k.a. Genius exam) is acquired on the Hologic® 3D Mammography™ system and consists of a 2D and 3D™ image set, where the 2D image can be either an acquired 2D image or a 2D image generated from the 3D™ image set. The Genius®  exam is only available on the Hologic® 3D Mammography™ system
    1. FDA submissions P080003, P080003/S001, P080003/S004, P080003/S005
    2. Friedewald SM, Rafferty EA, Rose SL, et al. Breast cancer screening using tomosynthesis in combination with digital mammography. JAMA. 2014 Jun 25;311(24):2499-507.
    3. Zuckerman SP, Conant EF, Keller BM, et al. Implementation of Synthesized Two-dimensional Mammography in a Population-based Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Screening Program. Radiology. 2016 Dec;281(3):730-736.
    4. Skaane P, Bandos A, Eben EB, et al. Two-view digital breast tomosynthesis screening with synthetically reconstructed projection images: comparison with digital breast tomosynthesis with full-field digital mammographic images. Radiology. 2014 Jun;271(3):655-63.
    5. Bernardi D, Macaskill P, Pellegrini M, et. al. Breast cancer screening with tomosynthesis (3D mammography) with acquired or synthetic 2D mammography compared with 2D mammography alone (STORM-2): a population-based prospective study. Lancet Oncol. 2016 Aug;17(8):1105-13.
    6. McDonald ES, Oustimov A, Weinstein SP, et al. Effectiveness of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Compared With Digital Mammography: Outcomes Analysis From 3 Years of Breast Cancer Screening. JAMA Oncol. 2016 Jun 1;2(6):737-43.
    7. Rafferty EA, Durand MA, Conant EF, et al. Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis and Digital Mammography in Dense and Nondense Breasts. JAMA. 2016 Apr 26;315(16):1784-6.