- A 29-year-old woman with a lump in her chest said she was denied a mammogram because of her age and family history.
- TikToker said the tumor mass grew to 8 centimeters and was later diagnosed as stage 4 cancer.
- The young women spoke of experiencing serious symptoms that were ruled out in the medical system.
Philecia La’Bounty was at the movies with boyfriend Brent Maggard in 2018 when she reached under her shirt to adjust her sports bra – and felt a marble lump in her left chest.
“I didn’t feel like the rest of my breast tissue,” she said I got TikTokMagard agreed.
But when Labonte, who didn’t have insurance at the time, went to a free clinic for an ultrasound, the results came back clean. Doctors told her that she had nothing more than a benign cyst, and that she had nothing to worry about.
After all, she was a 29-year-old in Southern California who did CrossFit and traveled internationally to work in modeling.
However, Labonte felt uncomfortable about the lump, so she asked her doctor to apply for a mammogram. Labonte said the application was denied due to age and lack of family history — twice.
“I had perfect blood work, had no other symptoms, and had no other lumps, so they refused any other treatment, telling me I was too young to have breast cancer, that I was healthy, it was just a cyst and come back if it bothers me,” he said. La’Bounty on TikTok.
Eight months later, Labonte was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Now 35 and receiving chemotherapy for life, she shares her story to encourage other young women to be aware of their breast cancer risks and to push for answers when they feel something in their body.
“If I had seen someone I had a relationship with were posting about it, I would have taken my situation more seriously,” she told Insider. “I would have fought harder, I would have found a way to pay for the mammogram.”
“If I can save one life, it’s worth everything I post,” she added.
Labonte said she learned her prognosis was poor when the doctor kept leaving the room during checkups
In the months leading up to Labonte’s diagnosis, her lump had grown to eight centimeters — noticeable and annoying, she said, in the tight dresses she wore at auto shows.
When she returned to the clinic this time, she said, she was taken to an emergency mammogram and ultrasound. Labonte said the technician kept leaving the room between scans to consult, likely, with other doctors. “That’s when I knew it was really bad,” she told Insider.
Follow-up biopsies, positron emission tomography (PET) scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirmed that Labonte had stage 4 breast cancerthat spread to her lungs, lymph nodes, and sternum. “My heart sank,” she said, “I was afraid I’d lose my life, my family, and my friend.” “I was afraid of death.”
While breast cancer is more common in women over 50, about 9% of all new cases in the United States are in women under 45, According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “Breast cancer is no longer an old woman’s disease,” Labonte said.
And although family history increases the risk of breast cancer, especially in younger women, 87% of women with the disease do not have a direct family history of the disease, Cedars Sinai Report.
If you think something is wrong, make an appointment, said Labonte. “It’s terrifying,” she said, “but it’s better to know than not to know. The sooner you find it, the better.”
Labonte says she will likely have chemotherapy for life
Labonte first underwent six months of intravenous chemotherapy, including one round of treatment known as “the Red evil” for its toxicity and color tone. “I couldn’t even swallow my spit,” she said.
Since then, she’s been taking oral chemotherapy in five-week cycles–three weeks, two off. “Every five to six weeks, I feel like actual litter,” she said.
Labonte said a recent PET scan indicated “no evidence of disease,” but that You are likely to undergo ‘lifetime’ chemotherapyTo keep the disease latent.
She also needed regular checkups and blood tests, and had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to help prevent a recurrence of the hormone-induced disease. She takes hormone blockers for the same reason. This put her in early menopause. “Hot flashes were definitely the hardest thing for me,” she said on Tik Tok.
But she tries not to think about her condition. “There is a lot more to my time than the obsession with my cancer,” she said, like her family and work knocking on doors for solar power. “I’m trying to maintain a more normal life than a cancer life.”
La’Bounty will need a surrogate to have children
Just before the first round of chemotherapy, Labonte learned — through a video clip — that the treatment could render her infertile. “I freaked out,” she said.
When I confronted the oncologist, the doctor said, “I’m trying to save your life, I don’t have time to discuss every option,” according to Laponte.
So after this treatment, Labonte found a new doctor who gave her a few weeks to follow up egg freezing Before continuing to use a less toxic type of chemotherapy.
La’Bounty now has 10 eggs in stock, but he’ll do it need a replacement When she and Magard are ready to start a family because the pregnancy hormones will be too dangerous for her body.
Labonte said on TikTok that this fact is “devastating”.
“I’ve always wanted to hold my kids,” she told Insider. “This is something I’m still in therapy today.”
Young women can be victims of medical gas lighting
Research shows that women are more likely to havemedical gas lightingOr when medical professionals ignore symptoms, refuse tests or treatments, and eventually misdiagnose them.
31-year-old single mother He previously said from the inside About her months-long pain that was deemed a gallbladder problem because she was too “young and healthy” for cancer. She was later diagnosed with stage 4 bile duct cancer.
She is 20 years old Georgia Ford She said the pain, cramps, vomiting, and weight loss were ruled out as “all in her head.” She had stage 4 kidney cancer.
“Women are not being believed, and this causes significant delays in care, misdiagnosis, late diagnosis, ineffective treatment, and ineffective triage,” Dr. garima sharmaD., an internist and cardiologist at Johns Hopkins previously told Insider. “Women are paying a heavy price.”
Dr. Mikhail Varshavsky, a family doctor known as “Doctor Mike”, He said from inside Patients who feel separated by their doctors should ask the hospital’s patient advocacy office and try to practice “charitable” thinking.
“Instead of assuming your provider is pointing you at you, even though it might be, say, ‘Well, I don’t think I’m getting enough care, so I’m going to assume the reason this is happening is out of the provider’s control. But I’m still trying to get the most out of my visit,” Varshavsky recommended.
“If both parties show benevolent thinking, this is where you get the best results,” he said.
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