Never Too Young: Meet Kommah McDowell

“Unbelievably, the [primary care] medical staff was not familiar with the type of cancer. They just knew it was cancer and the best course of action was to remove it immediately. Fortunately, I was able to go to City of Hope for a second opinion and treatment.”
— Kommah McDowell

At age 29, Kommah McDowell was seeing a lot of her primary care physician. A painful mass in her right breast had Kommah concerned. For seven months in 2005, the doctor reassured her that she was too young to have cancer.

That doctor was wrong. Without proper diagnostic testing, Kommah had lost precious time in her fight with the disease. Worse yet, her doctor lacked the expertise to put together a treatment plan.

Fortunately for Kommah, she was able to seek a second opinion from City of Hope, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. The specialists there diagnosed her with two particularly rare and aggressive forms of breast cancer and set up a strategy that included chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

It was a difficult road, but that second opinion saved Kommah’s life. Fifteen years after her diagnosis, she is free of cancer and living happily with her husband, whom she had married between chemo appointments, and her son, born three years after her final radiation treatment.

Read More patient stories