When most of us hear ‘3D,’ we think about movies, printers and maybe glasses. But in the world of mammography, 3D has taken on a whole new meaning. This advanced screening can give doctors an edge when it comes to detecting breast cancer early.
Just ask Pauline Moy, a labor and delivery nurse at Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH). As a busy wife, mom and grandmother who works 12-hour shifts, she struggled to find time to schedule a yearly mammogram. Finally, on one of her days off, she called for an appointment.
Little did Pauline know she would be the first person at NCH whose breast cancer was detected using 3D digital technology.
“Shortly after I got home from my 3D mammogram, I received a call telling me the radiologist had seen something, and I needed to have an ultrasound,” Pauline says. “The next step was a needle biopsy performed by Allan Malmed, M.D., one of the radiologists.”
Dr. Malmed called Pauline at home to share the news that she had cancer. She remembers that phone call well. “My first thought was – how do I tell my family,” Pauline says. “I was worried for my husband, my three children and my six grandchildren.”
That’s when she got creative.
Pauline invited her entire family to a local restaurant, and she ordered a round of pink smoothies. She brought pink Beanie Babies for her grandkids and scattered pink ribbons on the table. It didn’t take long for the family to understand what Pauline was trying to say.
To tell her coworkers, Pauline brought pink donuts and filled cups with sugar cubes. “I told them, ‘we have to get rid of the lumps in my cup.’”
Pauline credits her strong faith for helping her on the journey. “In life, there are things you can’t control, and sometimes you even have to relinquish what little control you do have,” she says. “I realized I had to let go, and let God and the doctors do their job.”
Pauline’s cancer was treated with a lumpectomy followed by radiation. She is now back at work and grateful for the experience, despite the diagnosis. “Everyone I encountered – from the breast center to surgery to radiation oncology – was wonderful. I was so impressed.”
If you or someone you know is due for a yearly mammogram, learn more about the benefits of 3D technology at NCH.