By educating women about their bodies, their health, and specifically their breast tissue I am spreading awareness of information that needs to be understood. Many women who have dense breast tissue are not aware of the dangers of only having an annual mammogram done. When there is dense breast tissue, the mammogram misses abnormalities and tumors 50% of the time. I am contributing to helping women detect cancer early on with the latest technology of breast ultrasounds, the Sonocine machine takes 3,000 images from the lymph nodes to the chest wall which avoids any human mistake of missing the problem areas.
As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jasmine Khorsandi.
Los Angeles born and raised ultrasound technician, Jasmine Khorsandi, has her own practice in Santa Monica, California, where she helps women with dense breast tissue to detect cancerous tumors. While only having her practice for a few months, she has already amassed a celebrity following through her work with the groundbreaking technology, SonoCine. SonoCine is a radiation and pain-free scan that can go through all implants to detect what mammograms cannot, regardless of dense breast tissue. Coming from a medical family, Jasmine has always felt that helping people with their health brings her the most gratification. She finds great fulfillment in her responsibility of being on the frontlines with women testing for cancerous tumors, while making sure the experience is as educational and undaunting as possible. Aside from working with Sonocine rather than x-rays, Jasmine separates herself from other technicians through her emphasis on education. Jasmine believes that most women are not informed about breast health and she takes walking her patients through her testing very seriously. She prides herself on giving her patients the best care and peace of mind. She has also set her facility apart from other doctor’s offices by creating a spa-like space that her patients look forward to visiting. Her office features blush walls, healing crystals and bohemian macramé hanging art. Jasmine’s practice has caught the attention of numerous actresses including Drew Barrymore, Gwenyth Paltrow, Mindy Kaling, comedian Whitney Cummings, and Jameela Jamil and has receive shout outs on social media. Jasmine completed her ultra-sound technician training at the West Coast Ultrasound Institute, where she graduated in 2014. Prior to her Ultrasound training, she attended the University of California, Los Angeles and New York University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?
I grew up in a family that valued independence and homeopathic medicine. Many of my close relatives were doctors from Iran, where they did not have the same medicines we have here in the states. When I sprained my ankle, my grandmother would concoct a mixture of turmeric and egg, for a sore throat she would have me gargle warm water with salt. When someone had anxiety, we would make them tea with herbs and flowers. My family always pushed me to advance my career and follow my passion for saving women’s lives from breast cancer. I understood my opportunities were greater because my ancestors did not have access to the technology and education I did. I am lucky to have a family that supported my dreams and inspired me to pursue a career in healthcare. A value my grandmother instilled in me was independence and because of her love and support, I continued to learn and grow my breast ultrasound business.
Can you tell us a bit about how you and your work are trying to change in our world today?
By educating women about their bodies, their health, and specifically their breast tissue I am spreading awareness of information that needs to be understood. Many women who have dense breast tissue are not aware of the dangers of only having an annual mammogram done. When there is dense breast tissue, the mammogram misses abnormalities and tumors 50% of the time. I am contributing to helping women detect cancer early on with the latest technology of breast ultrasounds, the Sonocine machine takes 3,000 images from the lymph nodes to the chest wall which avoids any human mistake of missing the problem areas. I believe all women should have a Sonocine ultrasound done annually to be sure they are clear of any concerning areas in their breasts and to detect anything threatening before it develops any further.
Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this?
I have been passionate about helping women detect early cancer because I have lost a loved one due to breast cancer. She had her mammogram done every year and for three consecutive years, the cancer was missed. When they finally found the cancer in an ultrasound she was already stage 3, she passed within two years of her diagnosis. My frustration with the process lit a fire within me and ignited my passion to spread awareness on the subject to every woman I could reach. I continued my schooling to become a technician for breast ultrasounds and I decided to open my own business and build a platform of breast education that could reach women all over the world.
Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?
I was working as a breast ultrasound technician for four years, I felt my work had just begun and in order to expand, I had to take the reins. I had enough of working for someone else because I did not feel appreciated by my boss and I knew the service I provided was saving lives. I also knew deep down that if I was in control of the operations I would strive to reach more women. The aha moment for me was when I decided to bring my true worth into reality. I quit and decided to finance the machine and build my business from the ground up. When I thought about my loved one who passed away I knew in my soul I would succeed because I am so passionate about the subject. Most of my patients from the previous job followed me to my new business so the hard work 4 years prior definitely put me in a position to continue relationships I had created over the years.
Many young people don’t know the steps to take to start a new path. But you did. What are some of the things or steps you took to get started?
The very first thing I did was went to the store and bought a journal that resonated with my vision. It was pink and feminine, I began using it to write my own business plan. I didn’t go to business school so I knew I had to meet the challenge with a well thought out execution. I was so determined to succeed that failure was not an option. I remember writing in my pink notebook that I needed 3 things, a location, a machine, and a radiologist. Second, I was willing to ask for help and I am so grateful my brother helped me finance the machine I needed. I knew that it would all be worth it in the end and the reward would surpass any risks I had to take. My advice for anyone unsure of what steps to take is do not invest in fear, invest only in certainty. Take something you are passionate about and write it down, meditate on it at least 4 times a week. The process was very spiritual for me, most of the steps that lead me to success were within my mind and soul. I meditated on my vision equally as much as I took physical action.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
Although I have had many interesting patients including celebrities, I was most excited to be referred to Gwyneth Paltrow. My fascination with her dedication to spreading awareness on women’s health was what made it so amazing. Although I was a little nervous to ask for Gwyneth’s support for her reach on social media of 7.2 million people, there was a moment of relief when she had already shared and promoted my business! I was so grateful for her appreciation and her expression on the importance of getting this type of scan done annually. She has continued to be a solid connection and has increased my reach exponentially. I am so thankful for her kindness, respect, and recognition.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?
I was on my way to my office with an iced coffee in one hand and my purse in the other. I accidentally spilled my coffee all over my blouse and I had to see a patient immediately after. Luckily my nurse switched shirts with me before the client saw! The lesson I learned from my iced coffee mishap was to always keep an extra blouse and work pants in case of a wardrobe malfunction. Presentation is important to my business as I want all my patients to feel comfortable and have pleasant experiences when they come into my office. Also, show those around you that you appreciate them, the next day I brought my nurse flowers for literally giving me the shirt off her back. Success requires teamwork and that is something I never take for granted.
None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?
I am very fortunate to have family members who helped me on my journey to where I am now. My uncle was a huge contributor to my confidence as a businesswoman considering I didn’t go to school for business. He was a self-made billionaire who started out washing dishes for less than minimum wage. He encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and he mentored me. He came to all the meetings to negotiate important matters such as the cost of the machine and the location I would be choosing. My grandmother was also a huge influence on my success because she taught me never to rely on anyone else financially and to continue my education. When my grandfather passed away she was still very young and had to go to school and provide for her children. From her experience, she knew to teach me to be independent and to follow my dream to own my own business and work for myself helping women fight breast cancer.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
The reason I say all women should get the Sonocine ultrasound is because of a situation like this one. A young woman of only 25 years old reached out to me on Instagram after her mother had the scan done. She said she had a feeling something was wrong and her gut told her she needed to see me. Although she is a young woman, she made the right decision to act on her gut feeling because when she came in we detected a tiny trace of cancer. She is treating it naturally using holistic methods. The detection of this cancer may have saved her life because instead of being unaware of it she is now taking the steps to heal.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
Health care leaders such as doctors and women’s specialists can start the conversation to educate women on their breast screening options. These are the professionals women need to hear from, it starts by communicating the type of breast tissue the patient has and discussing the best and most accurate technology without the harmful effects or inaccuracies.
Society needs to normalize the discussion about breast health because every year there is a 9/11 catastrophic amount of deaths due to breast cancer alone! We now have social media and access to information on our devices, as a movement women can share this information easily. The main concept is that the yearly mammogram is simply not enough to detect breast cancer early for all women getting their annual exams.
Politicians can use their reach to educate women on their right to go get a more accurate and safer breast exam. We need more leaders who are not afraid to speak out loud the information that could save lives. This way this technology could be more accessible to women who cannot afford scanning or who did not even know about it in the first place. It should not be a secret and it is our leaders’ jobs to keep us informed.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
Have more fun -I remember when I first started, I was so worried about making it and being successful that I spent a lot of energy judging myself. If I could tell myself to take a deep breath, smile, and have a laugh every now and then, I believe the experience could have been a little lighter in the beginning stages. Now, I remind myself to always enjoy the journey!
Be up for a challenge -At times I would sit in my flow state and forget to switch things up or revamp my process. Every week or so I seek out new connections with big names, I take risks asking for referrals and I show up ready to deal with any new or daunting tasks that may improve my business.
Take care of yourself -Remember to reward yourself for your dedication. Some things I do for myself are attend a retreat, get a massage, or have a spiritual healing session. People don’t want to just work with anyone, they want to work with someone who takes care of themselves and provides a calm and put together experience. How can you provide that if you aren’t taking care of yourself first?
Forget about the haters -Don’t do anything to impress other people and don’t worry what other people think. The reason my business was able to take off was because I planted a seed deep within myself. I am genuinely passionate and connected with what I am doing so it doesn’t bother me if someone doesn’t support it. All that matters is that you follow your passion and your true purpose in this life.
Spread kindness -Whatever you put out into the world you will get back. I come into work every day and I spread kindness, even if someone is having a bad day or you disagree on something it is important to treat them well. One way to share positive energy is to smile, when I enter the room to greet a patient I smile from the inside and I focus on the positive which is helping them with their health. It makes me happy to be able to do my passion and share crucial information that could save someone’s life.
If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?
Think of something that you feel in your core, the passion for what you do is going to drive you. It was an easy decision for me to choose to help women with their breast health because I lost someone due to breast cancer. You can turn one of the biggest negative experiences in your life into a positive thing for the world when you choose to fight against something hurting the environment or society. Not only does it give your life great meaning but the rewards are internal as well as external making you and the world better.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)
I would love to meet and have a discussion with Kris Jenner. To me, she is the ultimate lady boss and female inspiration. She is all about supporting women and I would love to hear any advice she had for me. Also, I would love to ask her about her multiple businesses and the ins and outs of how she became so iconic. I look up to her for everything she does and how she does it with style and grace.
How can our readers follow you online?
Follow me on Instagram @Sonobreasts and check out my website sonobreasts.com. I am always sharing a wealth of knowledge on women’s health, natural healing and of course the best of breast care.