An Update on Casey DeSantis
- The DeSantis family has “a road ahead,” Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said Tuesday of his wife’s breast cancer diagnosis.
- The family hasn’t revealed what stage or type of breast cancer Casey has, or where she’s being treated. But the governor said Tuesday that Casey has already met with doctors.
- Gov. DeSantis is encouraging both men and women to get screened for the disease. “These screenings and the things that you do can really, really be life-saving.”
“Her view is, ‘Better me than somebody who may not be able to deal with it,’” he said Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Times reported. “That’s just kind of her spirit. I got faith in the big guy upstairs, and I’ve got faith in her, and I know that this is a bad break, but she’s got an awful lot to live for for the rest of her life.”Read More
But on Tuesday, the governor said Casey has already met with doctors. “We’ve been in and out of getting medical (help) already, and she’s like the healthiest person in the whole hospital,” he said.
Before Casey served as the First Lady of Florida to the 46th governor of the state, she was a producer and Emmy award-winning television host for the PGA Tour. She and Gov. DeSantis have been married since 2010 and have three children together — Madison, 4; Mason, 3; and Mamie, 18 months. On Tuesday, the governor also acknowledged the toll the diagnosis has taken on their family unit.
“It’s not an easy thing when this happens,” he said. “Your life is going, then all of a sudden this is something that puts that in the balance. So it’s not been easy as we deal with that as a family.”
Discovering Casey’s Cancer; the Importance of Screening
On Tuesday, Gov. DeSantis said that his wife’s cancer was discovered after she “had a feeling” that she needed to get a breast cancer screening. “It wasn’t like she was in a lot of pain,” he said. “She just had a feeling she needed to do it, so thank God that she did.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Breast cancer mostly occurs among older women, but it’s possible for women under the age of 45 — like Casey DeSantis — to be diagnosed with this type of cancer. About 9% of all new breast cancer cases in the U.S. are found in women younger than 45.
But in some ways, a diagnosis for a younger woman can often be even more devastating, Dr. Ann Partridge, an oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, tells SurvivorNet in a previous interview. This is because the cancer is likely to be a more aggressive form of the disease and also at an advanced stage, as screening for younger women is not standard.
Screening is Imperative
The American Cancer Society recommends that women ages 40 to 44 have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening — such as a mammogram — if they wish to do so. But women ages 45 to 54 should definitely get a mammogram every year.
Dr. Connie Lehman, a director of the breast imaging clinic at Mass General Hospital in Boston, tells SurvivorNet in a previous interview that it’s very important for women to get a mammogram every year, especially if you haven’t yet gone through menopause.
“We know that cancers grow more rapidly in our younger patients, and having that annual mammogram can be life-saving,” Lehman says. “After menopause, it may be perfectly acceptable to reduce that frequency to every two years.”
The Florida governor has the same message for women (and men).
“These screenings and the things that you do can really, really be life-saving,” he said. “Make sure you go in and do that when the physicians tell you to.”