After learning doctors had overlooked a growing tumor, this active neighbor launched a campaign to help save others.
Many neighborhood residents know Henda Salmeron, a Realtor and one-time Lakewood Neighborhood Association president. She recently told us that she had been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. Despite the distressing news, Salmeron didn’t spare any time for self-pity. Instead she launched into an awareness campaign based on her recent experiences, which she hopes will save women like her from possible suffering.
Salmeron says that had she known earlier what she knows now about detecting breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue, she might have escaped the disease, or at least caught it earlier.
“I never knew I had dense breast tissue nor did I know that a mammogram may not be an effective screening tool to detect breast cancer when you have dense breast tissue," she says. "I have had clear mammograms every year and as recent as December my mammogram still showed no evidence of cancer — my tumor was 4 cm and has been growing for a long time undetected.”
On her site densebreast tissue.net she speaks candidly via video about her medical ordeal and the important information she has learned from it. She is also determined to influence lawmakers — “I hope to be able to get the bill that was signed into law in Connecticut regarding dense breast tissue to become a federal law and help other women not having to have this happen to them,” she says. “[My] website contains as much information as I was able to pull together in a short period of time,” she says. "Allen Vaught is on board to author a similar bill in Texas," she adds.
Salmeron will know soon whether or not she will need chemotherapy, but she is hopeful that she will fight the tumor with radiation treatments beginning this month. Look to the Advocate next October for more on Salmeron and other local cancer survivors.
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