When Lisa Pitre, a Mayo Clinic speech pathologist from Jacksonville, Florida, went in for a routine mammogram in summer 2019, nothing on her imaging was concerning.
By October, though, Lisa was diagnosed with stage 4 invasive lobular carcinoma, an aggressive type of breast cancer.
“I learned that 20% of breast cancers are not detected on mammograms, and mine was one of those,” says the 53-year-old mother of two, noting that her cancer was found only after an MRI was performed.
Lisa’s primary care physician ordered the imaging test after she began to gain weight and have pain and bloating in her abdomen. The scan identified cancer in her liver, bones, and the orbit of her eye.
“Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon story with this type of cancer,” says Lisa.
This type of breast cancer, also known as infiltrating lobular carcinoma, is the second most common form diagnosed in the U.S., accounting for about 10% of all invasive breast cancers. Due to the way the cancer cells accumulate, it is often challenging to see on traditional mammography. Advanced imaging is usually required.
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