Kate_Breast CancerYoung, no family history, healthy. These three thoughts circled in the back of 24 Foundation Columbia rider, Kate Nowrouki’s mind, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36.

It all began to unravel when Kate inadvertently found a lump in her breast during a self-examination. Kate immediately went to her OBGYN to check it out. Her doctor said the chances the lump was cancerous were slight since she was under the age of 40 and did not have a family history of the disease.  She insisted on getting more definitive answers and  having a mammogram, but was told that due to her age that her insurance company may not cover the cost. Fortunately, Kate’s insurance came through and the lump  ended up being benign. However, Kate was not in the clear yet. Her mammogram revealed massive cancer cells, which led to her decision to have a mastectomy.

“The whole journey has been such a positive experience overall, it gives you a whole new perspective for life,” Kate Nowrouzi said. “I learned to appreciate all the little things even more than before with my wonderful and supportive husband and two beautiful children.”

Cancer does not discriminate. Every person no matter their age, health, or family history are susceptible to cancer, but the difference as with any obstacle in life is how one reacts. For Kate, she took charge of her health and performed self-examinations that led to her early detection, which proved to be lifesaving.

“I highly encourage young women to get a mammogram, its never too early,” Kate said. “And if you have a family history, do the genetic test even if your issuance won’t pay for it. It would be the best $2,800.00  you have ever spent! Early detection can save a life. And my last message…be a little kinder today, life is too short!”

For more information on how you can help detect breast cancer early visit the American Cancer Society’s resource website.

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