by Sister Rosanne Popp, M.D.
CHRISTUS St. Mary’s Clinic
On a recent visit to the clinic, one of my patients, Maria, was coming for the results of her annual wellness exam and mammogram. She related that she had a friend, Susie*, had not had a checkup in over four years. Susie was worried because she thought she felt a lump in her breast, but did not have the resources to have a mammogram. Maria had advised Susie to come to St. Mary’s Clinic because we could provide her with a checkup and get “whatever she needed.”
Susie did come, a breast lump was detected, and she was given an order to go to The Rose for a mammogram and ultrasound. A follow up biopsy detected breast cancer. Because The Rose is committed not only to the detection but the treatment of breast cancer, the staff was able to connect Susie with oncologists and other resources, assisting her to choose the best treatment for her type and stage of breast cancer.
Meanwhile, both Susie and Maria have now become advocates for mammograms and early breast cancer detection. They are sending their friends to the clinic to schedule their mammograms. Having mammography available with follow-up of abnormal results is so important to the women who have few resources. Without these services, their cancers would not have been detected until treatment would be difficult, painful and sometimes futile.
Friends telling friends may save a life.
*Not patient’s real name