This Woman Live-Streamed Her Mammogram, Then Found Out She Had Breast Cancer
Ali Meyer received her first mammogram during a Facebook Live stream and was shocked by the results.
Last year, Ali Meyer, an Oklahoma City-based news anchor for KFOR-TV, was diagnosed with breast cancer after undergoing her first mammogram on a Facebook Live stream. Now, she's sharing her experience for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (Related: Woman Diagnosed with Breast Cancer After It Was Detected by Tourist Attraction's Thermal Camera)
In an essay on KFOR-TV's website, Meyer recounted turning 40 and agreeing to a live-stream of her first mammogram appointment. With no lumps or family history of breast cancer, she was completely blindsided when a radiologist saw cancerous calcifications in her right breast, she explained.
"I will never forget that day," Meyer wrote. "I will never forget telling my husband and my girls after they got off the bus that afternoon." (Refresher: Women with an average breast cancer risk should consider mammograms starting at age 40, and all women should be getting screened starting no later than age 50, per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' guidelines.)
Meyer went on to detail that she had non-invasive ductal breast cancer, one of the most survivable forms of breast cancer, and that she'd decided to get a single mastectomy at the recommendation of her doctor. (Related: 9 Types of Breast Cancer Everyone Should Know About)
In her essay, Meyer didn't sugarcoat the procedure. "Even though surgery was my choice, it felt like forced mutilation," she wrote. "It felt like cancer was stealing part of my body away from me."
Since live-streaming her mammogram, Meyer has also publicly shared other stages of her journey. She's posted multiple updates about her mastectomy on her Instagram. In one post, she got candid about the complexities of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction: "Reconstruction after breast cancer is a process. For me, that process has included two surgeries so far," she wrote. "I don't know if I'm done." (Related: Meet the Woman Behind #SelfExamGram, a Movement Encouraging Women to Perform Monthly Breast Exams)
She went on to explain that even with options like implants and fat-grafting (a technique in which fat tissue is removed from other parts of the body via liposuction, then processed into liquid and injected into the breast) available to her, reconstruction is still a "difficult" process. "I recently discovered a little bump of fat I'm not happy with," she says. "So, I've been spending some time massaging the tissue into place. It's a process. I'm worth it."
In her essay, Meyer revealed she had her second mammogram this year, and this time she had better results: "I am thrilled and relieved to tell you my mammogram was clear, showing no signs of breast cancer." (Related: Watch Jennifer Garner Take You Inside Her Mammogram Appointment for Breast Cancer Awareness)
Believe it or not, Meyer isn't the only journalist who's received both her first mammogram and breast cancer diagnosis on-air. In 2013, news anchor Amy Robach was diagnosed with breast cancer after an on-air mammogram on Good Morning America.
In a recent Instagram post, Robach thanked fellow anchor and breast cancer survivor Robin Roberts for encouraging her to get that life-altering mammogram six years ago. "I'm healthy and strong and training for the @nycmarathon because of HER today," wrote Robach. "I urge everyone out there to make and keep your mammogram appointments."