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Trust your gut: Take the time for a mammogram

Dusty Suther had a gut feeling.

The 41-year-old Fairborn resident was experiencing shooting pains in her right breast. With a family history of breast cancer, she decided to make an appointment with Dr. Roxane Weighall, a breast surgeon with Kettering Physician Network. Much to her surprise, her right breast was fine; it was her left breast and a lymph node that were of concern to the doctor.

A mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy at Kettering Breast Evaluation Centers would soon reveal that Suther was smart to trust her gut. Two days after the biopsy, Dr. Weighall called to deliver the news: she had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.

“Hearing that you have the ‘C’ word is a very emotional rollercoaster ride. You can try to mentally prepare yourself for a diagnosis of cancer, but once you are told that you have it, it is a whole new game,” said Suther.

Removing the fear of the unknown

As most patients would agree, what makes a cancer diagnosis so scary is all of the unknowns: what will my treatment be like? Will I be sick? Will I lose my hair? Will I be able to be at home with my family?

Suther was thankful that Dr. Weighall took the time to thoroughly explain every part of her diagnosis and treatment plan – from the initial diagnosis, to port placement for her infusion treatments, to how her double mastectomy would be performed. She also made the appointment for Suther to meet with Dr. Manisha Nanda, an oncologist with Kettering Cancer Care.

Partners on the path to recovery

In addition to being thankful for the compassionate care she has received from the staff at Kettering Breast Evaluation Centers and Kettering Cancer Care, Suther also is thankful that she trusted her gut.

“Make sure you take the time to do your self-exams and annual mammogram,” said Suther. “If you think something is off or you have a nagging feeling about your health, please get checked.”

In an ongoing effort to advance the early detection and treatment of breast cancer, the new cancer center, set to open in December on the Kettering Medical Center campus, will include a Breast Evaluation Center with 3D mammogram technology, or tomosynthesis.

During a tomosynthesis exam, multiple low-dose images of the breast are taken at different angles, which can then be viewed as a 3D reconstruction of the breast. Two of the many benefits of tomosynthesis are a reduction of false positives and even earlier detection.

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.

Said Suther, “With breast cancer, there are a multitude of things to worry about and decisions to be made, but feeling that I am being treated as they would their own family makes this bump in the road a lot less scary.”

To schedule a mammogram at one of several Kettering Breast Evaluation Centers throughout the greater Dayton area, call 1-800-373-2160 or click here to request one online.