A Whiter Shade of Pale

Behind every girl’s favourite song lies an untold story……..

The songs we love become woven into a neural tapestry entwined with the people, seasons, experiences and locations throughout our lifespan.

This morning, I was standing in the kitchen when I heard the song ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’ by Procal Harum

I hadn’t heard this in years. Suddenly, I was overcome by flashbacks of people, places, and strong emotions linked to that song from many stages of my life. I was transported back to life before breast cancer.

‘We skipped a light fandango, Turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor’….

I certainly felt like doing cartwheels to celebrate my good news the first time I received a clear mammogram result letter in the post from BreastCheck, many years ago now.

Mammography sign

It is a few years since that first BreastCheck letter, things have changed. Following a breast cancer diagnosis I became interested in patient advocacy. Many cancer patients feel a sense of responsibility to share their experiences. When I read an article written by Dr Nancy Cappello, I had never heard the term Breast Density. In 2004 after a delayed breast cancer diagnosis

Nancy founded Areyoudense.com

I quickly realised how little information there was available in Ireland on Breast Density and I decided to get involved in advocacy on this issue. Beingdense is well established now and promotes awareness and education of Breast Density and associated Breast screening risks,  in Ireland.

Approximately 50% of Irish women have Dense Breasts.  Having Dense Breasts may make it difficult to detect cancer on a Mammogram. Breast Density is a strong predictor of the failure of mammography reporting and is an Independent risk factor for breast cancer.

Learn more about Breast Density  here

Irish women currently are not routinely told about their breast density, not even when they ask at their screening appointments.


Witholding information like this is not helpful and may even place a woman at risk of a delayed breast cancer diagnosis. All women, including those who have dense breasts, have a right to informed decision making about their breast health.

7 out of 10 women do NOT know their breast density. Do you know yours?

Be Smart About Being Dense

Read more about the risks associated with Breast Density here.

Please share this with as many women as you know, it just might change life for one of them.

‘And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale’



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