Just under seven percent of breast cancer cases occur in women under age 40 according to www.webmd.com. One Kearney woman found herself a scary participant in that statistic, and is living proof that early detection helps save lives.
Mikki Hoehn considers herself blessed to mingle with family and friends. At only 24, she was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer last May after finding a walnut sized lump during a self examination.
A benefit was held Sunday to help raise money for her cancer treatments, but Hoehn was also concerned with trying to get the word out. She says she hopes other young women will not become part of that seven percent.
"I've had so many people tell me I've never heard of a 24 year old having breast cancer, well until I had it, I hadn't either," said Hoehn. "So I was very lucky mine was on the top and very visible. Had it been somewhere else I don't know if I would have found it right away."
"By her getting breast cancer, it's a big wake up call. You don't consider at 24 years old you're going to get breast cancer," said friend and benefit organizer Renae Altmaier. "You know it happens, and for your best friend to get cancer so young you definitely need to do self examinations now-- definitely. You realize how important it really is."
Hoehn finished chemo and her prognosis is good, and Sunday's benefit raised just over $11,000 to help with medical costs.