ABC reporter's cancer diagnosis impacts young Midstate women - abc27 WHTM

ABC reporter's cancer diagnosis impacts young Midstate women

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Monday morning, ABC News correspondent Amy Robach announced she has breast cancer. It was a diagnosis caught by a mammogram.

Robach said she had no symptoms and no family history. When she turned 40, the age woman are supposed to start getting mammograms, Robach said she put it off. That is, until the producer of Good Morning America asked her to get one, live on the air, to demonstrate for women who might be nervous.

On that day six weeks ago, Robach did a story on why she agreed to get the mammogram done.

"I started thinking, 'wow, if I've put it off, how many other people have put it off as well?' I went in to see Robin and she said, 'you know what Amy, if one life is saved because of early detection, it's all worth it,' " Robach said.

What Robach did not know was that the life she was saving was her own.

Robach's diagnosis is raising awareness and concern among women across the Midstate.

According to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, 32 Pennsylvania women will be diagnosed with breast cancer today; some younger than 40 years old.

"It's crazy how people can just get cancer out of nowhere, especially at a younger age than 60 or 50. It's kind of concerning that it could do down to the 20's, too," said Katie Albert of Lebanon County.

According to the American Cancer Society, five percent of all women diagnosed with breast cancer are younger than 40 years old. Doctors at Good Samaritan Health System said in those cases, women usually have a family history of breast cancer.

That has Albert concerned and wondering if she should get a mammogram before age 40.

"Well, I have a history of breast cancer in my family so I've been concerned about going now to get it because I'm only 20. I know it's weird, but I'm a little scared about that," Albert said.

Mammograms are not covered by insurance for women younger than 40 years old. Dr. Neenos Al-Noor said the test is not necessary for younger women unless there is a close family history.

"Her mom diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40. Definitely their kids have to be tested at age 30. So have a mammogram at younger age, but if you don't have that risk factor, I don't recommend it before age 40, definitely no mammogram," Al-Noor said.

Women of all ages should still do self-exams every month and get checked by a doctor annually.

Robach will undergo a double mastectomy on Thursday.


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