25-Year-Old Battles Aggressive Form of Breast Cancer
The best person to advocate for you is you.
Breast Cancer Survivor
Last December, 25-year-old Lauren Behrmann found a lump in her left breast. She was diagnosed with advanced triple positive breast cancer, and quickly started chemotherapy the next month. After nearly six months of chemo, Lauren had a double mastectomy. Because of her advanced disease she was recommended for radiation treatments. Her doctors suggested that because of her age she look into proton therapy rather than traditional radiation. After a consultation at Texas Center for Proton Therapy, Dr. Jared Sturgeon agreed that proton therapy was a really good option for Lauren.
“At that point we submitted everything to insurance and they actually denied coverage for me,” Lauren said. She spent the next six weeks trying to figure out next steps with the appeal process and who she needed to contact. “I reached out to a lot of people to try to advocate for me in order to appeal the insurance denial.” Lauren contacted the HR department of her employer, her physicians and care team and even the National Association for Proton Therapy to write letters on her behalf. Dr. Sturgeon created comparison plans showing the potential benefit proton therapy would have for her heart and lungs to show the insurance company. Her efforts resulted in a successful appeal after several attempts. A week after her insurance provider approved the appeal, Lauren started proton therapy.
The Texas Tech graduate finished proton therapy in October and has raised more than $10,000 for the upcoming “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk in Dallas, benefitting the American Cancer Society. “I’d encourage anyone going through a cancer diagnosis, particularly someone in their 20s, to advocate for yourself. Call back and check up on who is supposed to do what, whether it’s a scan, an appointment or something as big as an insurance appeal, just always follow up and advocate for yourself. Push for what’s best for you. The best person to advocate for you is you.”
Lauren, now 26, is still undergoing chemotherapy every three weeks but is looking to the future as she plans her wedding for 2022. “This year is cancer, next year is wedding planning.”
Learn more about proton therapy for breast cancer or call 469-513-5500 to find out if proton therapy is the right treatment option for you or a loved one.
The information included in this testimonial is based on one patient’s unique experience and is not intended to represent all patient outcomes or expectations.