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Orlando Health's Dr. Danielle Henry Says Casey DeSantis' Cancer Diagnosis Puts Spotlight on the Importance of Early Detection, Treatment

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

First Lady Casey DeSantis has been diagnosed with breast cancer at only 41 putting the spotlight on the importance of early detection and treatment of the disease.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says his wife and mother to their three children has been diagnosed with breast cancer at only 41 years of age. 

Orlando Health oncologist Dr. Danielle Henry says breast cancer in young women happens but it’s very rare.

Henry says that’s why it’s crucial that women, especially Black women who are at risk of being diagnosed with more aggressive breast cancers, get mammograms starting at 40.

“Some of the things that we do see in Black women is that they are diagnosed with a more aggressive form of breast cancer so that definitely can make it more difficult to treat. But the reasons are multifactorial."

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Henry says one of the risk factors for this more aggressive form of the disease in Black women, can be a genetic mutation that runs in families.

“One of those things that we can see is a BRCA1 mutation and that became something that was widely known about through Angelina Jolie. She came forward having a BRCA1 mutation. And elected to have the surgery to remove her breast before she even developed breast cancer."

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Henry says early detection and treatment improves outcomes for women and men diagnosed with breast cancer at any age. 

To find a free mammogram or pap smear near you, call the Orange County Department of Health at 407-858-1421.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.