Hermitage mom diagnosed with breast cancer at 28


At 28 years old, a Hermitage woman had her whole life ahead of her. But one morning, when she checked her breast, everything changed. Marissa Sulek reports.
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 7:19 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - At 28 years old, a Hermitage woman had her whole life ahead of her.

She was engaged, raising her 2-year-old daughter and planning a wedding.

But one morning, when she checked her breast, everything changed.

“I was literally living my life at 28 when I felt the lump,” Shaundrea Kee said. “After the ultrasounds and mammograms, they were like, ‘You have breast cancer.’”

Kee went to Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital for six rounds of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy. It was an experience she shared on YouTube after doctors told her she was young, and this diagnosis is rare.

But Ascension Saint Thomas breast surgeon Dr. Lisa Bellin said it’s not uncommon and it should be on a young woman’s radar. She said a higher percentage of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the 20s or 30s are not white.

“Probably every month I see a new patient who is in their late 20s, early 30s,” Bellin said. “If you feel a mass, you need to see a doctor, you need to get imaging and potentially a biopsy so we can sort through whether it is a benign or malignant disease.”

“I was really weak, fatigued. I lost 30 pounds, barely had an appetite, so I would have dizzy spells,” Kee said. “I couldn’t even take a shower by myself. I had to have someone help me.”

Kee is now cancer free and gaining back her strength with Survivor Fitness at Rise Fitness in Mount Juliet. It’s one-on-one personal training with her coach, Karen Kuzmyn.

“Shaundrea is a beast. She is awesome,” Kuzmyn said. “A lot of people are 50 or over and don’t have the fitness background like she does, so the workout looks a lot different.”

As Kee rises to a new challenge, she wants other women to know this could happen to anyone.

“Do not put this off,” Kee said. “It doesn’t happen in your 50s or 60s, it could come at any time.”

Bellin said women should start to get mammograms at 40 unless they are at high risk. She also said women should do self-breast examinations and visit their gynecologist every year.