Best Life: Identical twins receive identical cancer diagnosis

Best Life: Identical twins diagnosed with breast cancer

BRICK TOWNSHIP, N.J. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- They look alike, sound alike and may even have the same mannerisms. Identical twins also often have the uncanny ability to read each other’s minds. But for two New Jersey sisters, the similarities didn’t end there. Ivanhoe has more on their very unique cancer diagnosis.

Forty-three-year-old Meagan McCallum and Courtney Werner have been best friends since birth.

“We’ve always been close. If we dress the same, we were thrilled,” shared Meagan and Courtney.

But nothing could have prepared them for the health scare both would face. Meagan’s doctor found a lump in her breast last year that was cancerous. Weeks later, Meagan had the cancer removed, and then Courtney discovered a lump in her breast.

“I had no idea she felt a lump in the same exact spot. When I saw the incision, I said, that’s where your lump was? And I showed her the exact spot I pointed to, and she just went pale as a ghost,” continued Meagan and Courtney.

In the past, scientists have studied twins for insights into cancer. The Nordic Twin study followed 300,000 twins and found if one identical twin developed breast cancer, the other twin had a 28 percent chance of developing cancer.

“What could also be happening, potentially? Courtney and Meagan do have a hereditary breast cancer syndrome and we simply don’t know the gene yet,” stated Yolanda Tammaro, MD, a breast surgeon at Hackensack Meridian Health.

Doctors determined that neither sister needed chemotherapy. Both had radiation and said the hardest part was watching the other go through treatment, followed by telling their kids.

“I got it out of my system months ago, but my kids were so positive, and they took it really well because she did so great,” smiled Meagan and Courtney.

The sisters did have one other similarity that impacted their diagnoses. Both had dense breast tissue and doctors used ABVS ultrasound to detect the abnormalities. Also one other note, you may have noticed some of the cousins in the report looked alike. Meagan’s seven-year-old boys, Paul and Neil, are twins.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; and Kirk Manson, Videographer.

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