Cancer specialist shares what can be learned from First Lady Casey DeSantis breast cancer diagnosis
Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis has breast cancer. Governor Ron DeSantis shared the news Monday morning.
It only happens a few days in October, which has been designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Currently, the first lady has yet to explain what stage the cancer is at, but her husband said: “Casey is a real fighter and she will never, ever, ever give up.”
“We know that most women are now diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 50,” said Dr. Jane Mendez, chief of surgery at the Miami Cancer Institute.
Casey DeSantis is not alone. The 41-year-old mother of three is now one of the thousands of women diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
“At 41 years old, 1 in 217 women, 45 1 in 93, at 50 years old 1 in 50,” Dr. Mendez said.
The chances of being diagnosed increase with age.
“Eighty-five percent of breast cancers, which is the vast majority, happen sporadically, which means they don’t have it in their family, it happens out of the blue,” said Dr. Mendez.
This is why projections can make a difference in life or death. Annual mammograms for those over 40, but in some cases, for others, breast MRI exams, or even genetic tests for the youngest with a history.
“Usually, any woman diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 50 is considered a candidate for genetic testing,” explained Dr Mendez.
When cancer is caught early, the chances of beating it are higher. Dr Mendez told CBS4 that 98.5% of patients who detect breast cancer at an early stage have a 10-year survival rate.
“South Florida is unique in that we have a very heterogeneous patient population,” she said.
This means that the message should be spread in different cultures and languages, but also to find out more about your ancestry and your chances of developing breast cancer.
“When you come from South or Central America or the Caribbean, you have to keep all this genetic mix in mind,” said Dr Mendez.
Between Latin and black women, breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women with cancer.
“There is no such thing as a perfect diet, diet is more about being aware of what you eat and making sure of how you prepare the food and how much of the food you eat,” added Dr Mendez. .
While genetics play a role, explained Dr Mendez, it’s a small number, around 5% of breast cancers are hereditary. This is why lifestyle choices are contributing factors.
Doctors recommend that you exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, stay away from alcohol, and research hormone replacement therapy if necessary.
However, Dr Mendez couldn’t stress enough the importance of getting tested.