An Oklahoma journalist who chose to air her first-ever mammogram on Facebook Live last year was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer, she said.
In October 2018, Ali Meyer, a reporter with Oklahoma’s News 4 (KFOR), chose to live-stream her mammogram “because I thought it might remind some women to schedule theirs,” she wrote in an essay posted to the news station’s website.
When the day of her appointment arrived, “I had no concerns,” Meyer, 41, wrote. “No lumps; no family history; no reason at all to think that my baseline mammogram would turn my world upside down.”
But to her shock and dismay, Meyer’s mammogram results were abnormal.
Local radiologist Dr. Richard Falk, with the University of Oklahoma’s Breast Health Network, found cancerous calcifications in the reporter’s right breast, she said. More specifically, she was told she had non-invasive ductal breast cancer.
“I will never forget that day. I will never forget telling my husband, my girls,” she wrote.
One day after her diagnosis, Meyer took to Facebook Live to share the news.
“This has been hard and shocking. It does rock you to your core,” she said, according to KFOR. “You guys have been really supportive and I appreciate it so much. This is not the news I was hoping to tell you about to raise breast cancer awareness.”
Meyer, who was only 40 at the time of her diagnosis, did not have any genetic mutations that could explain why she developed breast cancer at such a young age.
Meyer later underwent a right side, skin and nipple-sparing mastectomy.
“Even though [the] surgery was my choice, it felt like forced mutilation,” she wrote in the essay. “It felt like cancer was stealing part of my body away from me.”
Luckily, because of how early her breast cancer was detected, Meyer’s prognosis was good.
"We found this when it was not invasive and not a mass when you are most likely to be completely cured and go on with a normal life," Falk told Meyer for the essay.
Meyer’s surgery was a success. Now one year later, she is cancer-free.
"I will never stop having mammograms,” she wrote. “I will never stop telling women to take care of their bodies and schedule their mammograms."
"This year I had my second, annual, 3D screening mammogram,” she continued. “I am thrilled and relieved to tell you my mammogram was clear, showing no signs of breast cancer.”