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Breast cancer doesn’t wait for a convenient time…nor should you


When Shawn Egbert of Kettering found a lump in her breast in December of 2014, she wasn’t overly concerned. She’d just had a mammogram that August, and it was normal.

But when January rolled around and the lump was still there, she made an appointment to have another mammogram. She was relieved when she was told that it, too, was normal.

Unfortunately, that relief was short-lived.

“The next day I got a call from the Kettering Breast Evaluation Center,” remembered Egbert. “They said that the radiologist was reviewing the pictures the night before and happened to notice a different area that was suspicious on my breast (not the lump) and asked if I could come back the next day for another mammogram and ultrasound.”

That mammogram and ultrasound revealed a cluster of calcifications that had not appeared on her August mammogram. A biopsy followed the next morning.

Five days later, she got the news: she had invasive ductal carcinoma with lymph node involvement.

Life goes on -- even with cancer

During the first visit with her oncologist, Dr. Alejandro Calvo, Egbert let him know of an upcoming two-week family vacation to Hawaii that she absolutely did not want to miss.

“He laughed and said to keep planning the trip. We got the calendar out right then and scheduled the chemo infusions so that those two weeks would be ‘off’ weeks,” said Egbert. “I did still need to go the clinic in Hawaii to get my bloodwork done and have it faxed to Dr. Calvo, to make sure all my labs were in check.”

When Egbert faced a similar situation at the start of the radiation portion of her treatment, her radiation oncologist, Dr. Louis Keiler, showed the same compassion and willingness to do whatever possible to make her trip to Florida with her closest girlfriends a reality.

New cancer center, same compassionate care

Today, Egbert is considered free of disease, though she still has numerous checkups each year with many of her breast cancer team.

“I smile and am glad to see each doctor and nurse, since each one has been so instrumental in getting my health back in check,” said Egbert.

Her advice when it comes to breast health? “Keep up with your mammograms and call your doctor if you feel anything unusual. My breast cancer was very aggressive and grew very fast. It did not show up in August, and by January it was stage 2b.”

This December, as part of an ongoing effort to advance the early detection and treatment of breast cancer, Kettering Health Network will open its new cancer center on the Kettering Medical Center campus. The center will include a Breast Evaluation Center with 3D mammogram technology. In addition, patients will find comfort in a private suite area in the new cancer center, as well as a dedicated reception and waiting area.

To schedule a mammogram at one of several Kettering Breast Evaluation Centers throughout the greater Dayton area, call 1-800-373-2160 or visit www.ketteringhealth.org/breasthealth