FLORIDA — Governor Ron DeSantis revealed that the First Lady of Florida, Casey DeSantis, has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Gov. DeSantis released the following statement.
“I am saddened to report that Florida’s esteemed First Lady and my beloved wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer. As the mother of three young children, 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 have not only have my unwavering support but the support of our entire family, as well as the prayers and well wishes from Floridians across our state. Casey is a true fighter, and she will never, never, never give up.”
Casey's diagnosis reminds people of the importance of getting their annual breast cancer screening.
Dr. Troy Shell-Masouras, a breast surgical oncologist, told Fox 4 that early detection is critical. She recommends women begin getting screened for breast cancer at 40-years-old.
“What this brings out into the light that people really still need to be pursuing their screenings," she said. "I really want everyone to take this to heart and please get your mammograms.”
Dr. Shell-Masouras said COVID-19 caused a decline in annual screenings. She is worried about this statistic.
"They estimate 40 to 60 percent of women have forgone their mammograms during COVID and so I really want everyone to take this to heart, and please go get your mammograms," she said.
Cleveland Clinic cited a short-term delay doesn't affect a patient's diagnosis. Dr. Shell-Masouras said the longer delays lead to a later diagnosis of breast cancer.
"As these cancers become more advanced, it requires more extensive treatment,” she said.
She recommends scheduling a mammogram immediately as early detection could save your life.
“Early detection is key and breast cancer in itself is something that it's a very survivable cancer if it's caught early," she said.
Dr. Shell-Masouras said folks with a family history of breast cancer might need to schedule sooner.
“If you have a family history, multiple family members with breast cancer, someone in your family close to you that was diagnosed at a younger age, then we might recommend starting your screening mammograms at an earlier age," she said. “Family members that are close to you that were diagnosed at a young age, certainly that puts you are at higher risk for breast cancer yourself and so we take precautions."
If you need a mammogram, you can visit your local clinic, hospital, or doctor's office.
To find a mammography facility near you, click here.