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Twins survived breast cancer together, now stress early detection

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 5:31 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Jeanette Keene and Jennifer Rappold are twins and they are breast cancer survivors. After fighting it every step of the way, they’re speaking out about their story with the hope of saving lives.

Jeanette was diagnosed in 2013. She put off going to the doctor for 6 months but even then, her mammogram and ultrasound didn’t find anything. However, a month later her fears were confirmed. Doctors found cancer.

“I was scared, I was. I’m not going to lie. It was very scary, but I had my family,” said Jeanette. “If you got dense tissue sometimes a mammogram is going to miss things but you know your body best.”

The news devastated her twin sister Jennifer Rappold. “It hit me hard. I cried. I prayed. I cried some more, you know, but I wanted to be strong for her,” said Jennifer.

She said the news became a wake-up call and sent her for a mammogram too.

“I just had a feeling, I just knew. So the mammogram came back and said yes, you have dense tissue too but we see something,” said Jennifer.

Doctors didn’t think it was cancer and told her to check back in six months but the physician she worked with said don’t wait.

“So he ordered a biopsy came back, of course, you know, cancer. I had another suspicious lesion in the other breast so we opted to do bilateral mastectomies,” said Jennifer.

The twin sisters woke up from their mastectomies cancer-free and feel blessed to have each other every step of the way.

“It’s never easy but it made it easier for us to get through it,” said Jeanette.

The twins feel lucky they caught their cancer early. Professionals say that self-awareness can save lives.

“We’ve seen patients come in and they would have breast cancer, they get it taken care of and then they live a normal life. I’ve been doing them for a long time. It’s a big hill to get over but it’s one you can get over with early detection,” said Kitty DeGree Breast Health Center Mammography tech, Hollie Arnold.

Early detection also includes doing breast self-exams once a month.

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