Casey DeSantis breast cancer diagnosis sheds light on early detection, awareness

Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Support for the 41-year-old mother of three young children is building, starting with her husband.

The governor put out a statement saying, in part: "Casey is the centerpiece of our family and has made an impact on the lives of countless Floridians through her initiatives as first lady … As she faces the most difficult test of her life, she will not only have my unwavering support but the support of our entire family."

This month, news outlets are shining a national spotlight on breast cancer awareness and early detection.   We spoke with Dr. Terry Mamounas, a surgical oncologist with the Orlando Health Cancer Institute. 

"Because of COVID, I think it is an important thing to remember that cancer screenings should resume normally, and if this is something that increases awareness, this would be a good thing for people to take home," Mamounas said. 

Mamounas says while there is debate on the best age to get a mammogram, most doctors agree on getting them over 40. But women with higher risks, including family history, should be screened earlier, specifically, 10 years before a relative was diagnosed.

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"The good news is we have very meaningful therapies that we have developed over the years that have continuously helped the outcome of patients with breast cancer. It is a very survivable disease with good outcomes," Mamounas said.

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