From the Breast Diaries:

Christina Applegate Foundation Gives Direct Financial Aid for Breast MRI

In 2009, the year after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36 after a screening Breast MRI test, actress Christina Applegate founded Right Action for Women (, a foundation dedicated to educating women about what it means to be at “high risk” for breast cancer.

In addition to education, the foundation offers financial assistance for women 45 years old and younger, with a family history of breast cancer or with a positive BRCA gene test, to gain access to Breast MRI, regardless of insurance status. Insurance companies often deny coverage for Breast MRI exams for high risk women, even when the test is clearly indicated and the woman’s doctor orders it. Many women cannot afford to pay for the cost of a breast MRI out -of-pocket, and must forgo the test. Ms. Applegate’s foundation is trying to bridge that gap.

Christina Applegate has been very open and honest with the public about her diagnosis of breast cancer at such a young age, and about her decision to undergo bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. Due to her family history of breast cancer in her mother, she started having yearly mammograms at the age of 30. Because her breast tissue was dense, the mammogram was limited in terms of its ability to see a potential cancer. Fortunately, her doctor was on top of this, and recommended that she have a breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) for more effective and complete screening, given her high-risk status.

On her first MRI, a suspicious area was seen in her left breast. (The mammogram was negative.) The area was biopsied, and breast cancer was found. Because it was found early and it was small, the first recommendation was that she have a lumpectomy (small lump of tissue removed) and six weeks of radiation treatment. No chemotherapy would be needed. However, because she was only 36 years old when she was diagnosed, and because of her family history, her doctor suspected that she might have a BRCA gene mutation (the “breast cancer gene”). The special blood test was sent off, and it came back as positive for the BRCA-1 gene. This meant that Christina faced a 60% risk of developing additional breast cancer in her lifetime (compare this to the average lifetime risk of 12%).

Taking these sobering facts into account, Christina Applegate decided to undergo a bilateral mastectomy (removal of both breasts) with cosmetic reconstructive surgery in 2008. She’s met this obviously difficult decision with irony, and a positive outlook, while admitting sadness. In several media accounts, she notes that on the bright side, she’ll never have to wear a bra again.

She has stated on many occasions that she’s convinced her doctor saved her life by sending her for that MRI. Her mission is now to make access to this potentially life-saving test available to all of the women who need it.

If you or someone you know could benefit from financial assistance for a necessary breast MRI, call Patient Services Incorporated at 1-800-366-7741 to apply.

Christina Applegate gave birth to her first child, Sadie Grace, in January 2011, and her new series, Up All Night, premiered on NBC last month. Best of luck, Christina! You deserve good things, and I’m rooting for you.

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  • Cathi Locati

    I am happy to introduce myself to Christina as New York’s leading Areola Architect tattooing realistic areola’s and nipples that are PERMANENT in the style of Michaelangelo for breast cancer survivors after mastectomy. I am launching a crowd funding campaign soon (like Christina) raising funds for breast cancer survivors who dont have insurance or cant afford the areola procedure of getting their sexy back!…If Christina has not had her areola’s or nipples tattooed yet (or if she has and a surgeon or tattoo artist did the work, chances are they have faded and disappeared by now?) I would love the opportunity to show her my areola tattoo work which is the very best quality micropigmentation work available today – Cathi Locati Co. (areola site) Click on Areola Photos from the home page. I became the best in my field by transferring my professional fine artist experience as a high-end portrait and figurative painter to the tattoo machine. (fine art site). Feel free to contact me directly: 914.659.7777 for a free phone consultation or email: Congratulations Christina for making it through! Cathi Locati, Tarrytown, NY

  • Mabelyn Dominguez

    Hello Christina, I’m Mabel Dominguez and in June of 2013 I found out I have triple negative breast cancer stage 4. Recently being treated at Memorial Sloan Breast Cancer on E 66th St. My specialist didn’t know much about my cancer so I left to get help right away. My family and friends have help so much they set up a fund under under Altamonte Springs, FL it’s called ” Let’s make it able for Mabel” Mabelyn Dominguez read my story and would you kindly donate and pass it on to your friends. We started a fund and Donations are few. Having cancer is scary I feel alone all the time. I went from stage two, did two lumpectomy was not clear margin. I have not be blessed to have my breast removed because my cancer went from stage 2 to stage 4 that it just shocked and left me speechless. My faith keeps me moving forward and strong. I worry all the tiime, am I doing the right thing by leaving my family behind. It’s not easy. Currently I’m at Memorial Sloan BC Center, PetScan was done last week and the tumors are shrinking slowly, my open sores on the breast have heal and my transfusion has help. You are welcome to visit me at the treatment center if you are in NY. I do chemos on Wednesday either second or three floor.

  • Kristy Zupancic

    Hello, my name is Kristy. I am 35, the mother of 2 awesome kids, & was surprised to learn on 12/21/15 that a small lump turned out to be breast cancer..triple negative, stage 1. We lost our home to a fire in August 2015, stress caused me to miscarry in october, and then this. It was assumed my breasts were just dense. I found the lump because of all the events leading up to it. I suppose the fire was a blessing in disguise. I just want to say what you do for others is amazing. I hope one day to pay it forward myself. My journal, my outlet through this journey, will maybe one day be a book. I hope so. I hope to raise money for research. I have the PALB2 mutation, very similar to BRCA, but unfortunately not well known yet. It scares me. Being triple negative with a gene unfamiliar at this point, I’m lost as to what precautionary measures to take. Due to my early stage and my choice to have a bilateral mastectomy, I am not offered any future help like patients that are HER2, etc. are. That scares me, too. I’m hoping to find a way to prevent a reoccurence. Any suggestions on a diet, a health plan from anyone would be greatly appreciated. I’d love to know what has worked thus far for Christina. I understand everyone is different. I just know my cancer is extremely aggressive and I’m willing to do anything to save my life. Ill change everything if i must. I just want to live to see my children grow. I know how much I’ve needed my mom in my life and I need to be here for Mia & Max. Any links for health, trials, just anything, is appreciated more than anyone knows. I’m lost as what to do. I’m overwhelmed with sites. I figured if go straight to a success story I may find information to at least guide me in the right direction. My bilateral mastectomy is July 15th, my reconstructive surgery is the 29th. I finished chemo 3 weeks ago. I’m afraid for my future and I want to know I’ve done everything possible to live. I want to live! I want to be a fellow sister’s hope! I want to be old one day, who else will be around to nag my husband and smother him, my children, & my grandbabies with love? ;) Christina may never see this…I pray she does. All I want is for a point in a direction that can help me to save my future. A diet, a plan, anything. What does Christina do with her diet? How did she adjust her lifestyle? I wish there was a manual for this. I’m overloaded with everything that’s happened but I’ve fought hard to continue to be a great mom. Cancer is physically, mentally, & emotionally abusive. My mind is a blur sometimes but I will stay positive. I have to. I just need help. Anything is greatly appreciated. I hope i, too, will overcome this and be fortunate enough to pay it forward. Thank you Christina for everything you’ve done to help women live. Again, any healthy lifestyle suggestions you have would mean everything to me. I don’t know many people like me, who understand. And from one bc sister to another…hope and hugs your way! Keep up the great, life saving work! You deserve the best!
    Sincerely, Kristy