Just months ago, Katie Poole was celebrating life as a newlywed.
“We planned to go on our honeymoon which we were going to take in January,” she said. “We had to cancel it.”
One little lump changed everything.
“We found the lump on a Friday night, and I found out it was cancer the next Thursday. So it was less than a week.”
With no family history of breast cancer, Katie was blindsided when she was diagnosed with stage 2a mucinous carcinoma.
“It typically occurs in two to three percent of breast cancers,” she explained, “and it usually occurs in 60 to 70-year-old women.”
The good news: It’s treatable. The confusing part: Katie’s just 23 years old.
“We certainly see a number of younger women with breast cancer, someone to be her age is quite rare,” said Dr. Wylie Hosmer of the Hartford Cancer Institute.
According to the CDC about eleven percent of new breast cancer cases are found in women under 45.
“Part of it probably has to do with better methods of detection, more intensive screening,” said Hosmer.
Katie wants to tell her story to help potentially save lives.
“I’m young, I didn’t do self exams,” she said. “It’s easy to do a self exam, just feel around every once in a while, once a month, make sure that everything feels normal and you don’t have to worry about anything.”
She’ll be one of several survivors at the Race In The Park 5K run and walk on May 7 in New Britain to benefit the CT Breast Health Initiative. The CBHI funds breast cancer research locally. To learn more or to register, click here.