Beverly has been a Charlotte Radiology patient for over 17 years and gets her mammogram every year. She started annual screening at 40 years old because it was recommended by her doctor based on breast health clinical guidelines. She had no family history of breast cancer, no genetic predisposition, and no breast concerns, yet she knew it was important and wanted the peace of mind that annual screening could provide.
Even when we do everything that we’re supposed to do, life can change in the blink of an eye and that’s exactly what happened to Beverly. In May 2017, after she went for her annual mammogram, her results came back positive this time – she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was something she had never expected, and she was thrown for a loop.
“This was a total shock to me but it’s more of a reason to get your mammogram. Just because you don’t have a family history doesn’t mean you can’t get it!”
Beverly did her research and consulted with physicians both at Charlotte Radiology and Levine Cancer Institute to decide on a course of therapy. Ultimately, she had a lumpectomy where they removed the cancerous tissue from the breast and then radiation. Throughout her journey, Beverly shared that she met some of the most amazing technologists and physicians at Charlotte Radiology who felt like family. “They were with me every step of the way – even during surgery”, Beverly says.
She remains so thankful for the community that she lives in and all of the physicians and surgeons at Charlotte Radiology and LCI who provided her with expert guidance and care. With early diagnosis and treatment, Beverly is now a breast cancer Survivor, and she’s grateful. “That’s the biggest thing, to get in there and get your mammogram, catch it early, and you have a much better chance for survival.”
Beverly’s story is just one of many showcasing how early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can save lives. As Beverly reflects on her journey with breast cancer, she has one piece of advice. “The best thing you can do for your family, for your friends, and for yourself is to get your annual mammogram.” She continues, “I can’t imagine why anyone would not want to do that. It’s covered by insurance and there are programs for those who can’t afford a mammogram”.
The Importance of Annual Screening as We Grow Older
As we grow older, our bodies continue to change from year to year, and the risk for breast cancer increases. That is why it’s important to get your mammogram annually so that a radiologist can compare any changes in the breast tissue from the year prior. With advances in technology, a 3D mammogram can show changes in the breast up to 2 years before you or a physician may detect it through self or clinical exam. Studies have shown that women whose breast cancers are diagnosed in the earliest stages -stage 0 or stage 1 – have a nearly 100% 5-year survival rate. Simply put, early detection saves more lives.
Beverly can attest that getting your mammogram shouldn’t be something you avoid. There are certain things you can push out a little further or even skip altogether, like putting off a home improvement project or avoiding your high school reunion. Not prioritizing your breast health and delaying your annual mammogram can be life-changing. It is a fair assumption that women like Beverly, who have caught their breast cancer early, would agree that regular screening is essential and not something that should be avoided.
Charlotte Radiology is here for patients like Beverly and here for you. We offer comprehensive screening and diagnostic imaging services, serving over 100,000 women each year for their breast health needs. Our doctors are board-certified and subspecialized in breast imaging and procedures. And we make it easy for you to make your breast health a priority with:
- 16+ convenient locations
- Extended hours with weekend appointments at select locations
- Fast, convenient care – we’ll get you in and out in 30 minutes!
- Online scheduling
- Safety measures are in place at all locations
Let us help you get into the good habit of preventive breast care. There are so many reasons why annual screening is important – for you, for the ones you love, for your now, and for your future.
- National Cancer Institute www.cancer.gov/types/breast/risk fact sheet
- Statistics www.breast cancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics
- NCCN: www.NCCN.org; Guidelines version 1.2019 Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis
- American Cancer Society www.cancer.org/cancer/breast cancer survival by stage