On January 3, 2018, I went to Montclair Breast Center for my routine breast exam. My appointment included a 3D mammography and ultrasound, very common and effective breast cancer screening tests. The radiologist pulled up my films and we reviewed them together. I appreciate the one-on-one approach meeting with a physician and the opportunity to look at my own medical images with an expert who can explain exactly what we were viewing. Everything looked good, but at the end of the appointment, the radiologist recommended that due to my risk factors, I should have an MRI. My personal lifetime risk of breast cancer was above 20%, which is the standard line for an MRI recommendation.
Quite frankly, I was a little annoyed. Another test?! Was this truly necessary if there were no abnormalities shown on the mammogram? As all women do, I have a full and busy schedule, so I scheduled my appointment for the following week before I left the office to make sure potentially valuable time did not slip away from me.
The following Tuesday, I arrived at Montclair Breast Center and I had my MRI scan on the lower level. As soon as I heard Dr. Lee on the phone, I knew I had a problem. She asked me a couple of questions (such as, what medications do I take?) and then scheduled a biopsy.
The biopsy was completed the following week. They were true experts and professionals. During the biopsy, they knew the area of concern needed to be removed – cancer or not. Twenty-four hours later and only 13 days later from my original mammography appointment, I received the diagnosis of Cancer. When Dr. Elliott said it during the phone call, it forever changed my life.
Early diagnosis saved my life and has given me a chance to live a healthy life, free from cancer. My treatment included a lumpectomy (completed at the North Fullerton Surgery Center, located on the lower level of the MBC office), and then radiation. I have never been happier than at the last two checkups when I received the good news than my cancer had not returned.
Diagnosis has changed my perspective: Every day is a good day. I can’t help but think, if I had waited another year for my mammogram and it wasn’t caught as early, how much worse would my cancer have been? Would I have needed to undergo toxic, draining chemotherapy?
Montclair Breast Center looked after me from the very beginning. I cannot thank them enough.