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From Patient to Advocate: Nancy Cappello Discusses Her Journey

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the journey for Nancay Cappello from patient to advocacy Photo Courtesy of Are You Dense Inc.

Presently, there are four states additional to Connecticut with notification legislation (Texas, Virginia, New York and California) and in the 2013 session, we are working with legislators and advocates from 12 states with density bill introductions.

Federal breast density notification legislation, introduced originally by Representative Rosa DeLauro of CT in 2011, should be reintroduced soon in the U.S. House of Representatives with plans to introduce a companion bill in the U.S. Senate later this spring.


What advice would you give to other women who want to become an advocate for a health condition they have?

Nancy Cappello:

Advocacy work is not for the fainthearted! Learn about the science of the health condition that you are advocating about. Tell your compelling story (or story about a family member or loved one with the health condition) as putting a face to a condition is powerful and meaningful as it brings the issue to life.

Surround yourself with like-minded advocates; as the work is challenging and requires an inordinate time-commitment. Be steadfast and relentless in the Mission as you will encounter opposition to the advocacy work.

Finally, celebrate your accomplishments. I recognize, at the end of days filled with as many disappointments as victories, that I am using my personal story to exchange a potential tragedy with improved health and life outcomes for women and their families – this is one of the life’s highest callings.


Interview with Nancy M. Cappello, Ph.D. Email. 12 March 2013.

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Mammography. Web. 13 March 2013.

National Cancer Institute. Mammograms Fact Sheet. Web. 13 March 2013.

MayoClinic.com. Mammograms: Can It Find Cancer in Dense Breasts?. Web. 13 March 2013.

Reviewed March 13, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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