When I first began my breast surgeon career 42 years ago, people didn’t discuss breast cancer. It was a taboo topic, even while other, more prominent cancers like lung cancer were getting public attention.
In the 90s, there were a lot of myths about what could increase or decrease your risk. Patients would say to me, “I didn’t think this lump was cancer because my A low dose x-ray picture of the breast that allows a doctor to view glandular tissue and determine the presence of cancer. was normal,” or “this lump can’t be breast cancer because I don’t have a family history of it.” Or, even more devastating because we now know how aggressive cancers may be in younger women—“I didn’t think this lump was breast cancer because I’m so young.”
The more I realized the lack of publicly available breast health information, the more I tried to educate my patients. And the more I educated, the more I realized that the best time to educate people about breast cancer was not when they were already in my office, with a lump, but years before that, decades before that, as young as possible, when they could make a real difference in changing their risk levels with nutrition, exercise, regular screenings, and knowledge about the disease.
And that’s when The Maurer Foundation was born.
I am proud to say we have done exactly what I set out to do in 1995—get this life-saving information into the hands of young people and empower them to save their own lives.