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SLVH Patient Shares Story about Early Detection


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Week and what better way to bring attention to this issue than to hear it directly from a recent patient, Tricia Wilson, who is enthusiastically encouraging her friends and neighbors to get their annual screening…and don’t delay!

“I was very impressed by the technology and professional staff at SLV Health. I moved to South Fork last year and scheduled my annual screening at the Stephanie L Miner Imaging Center. I was pleased to find out they had a 3-D mammography machine. However, I was surprised to get a follow-up call from the team asking me to return for another mammo with the Radiologist.

Dr. Allen showed me the screen of a cluster of calcifications found on my breast. I’ve had one or two show up in the past, so I was not concerned until he strongly suggested that I get it biopsied. In hindsight, I know that he knew exactly what he was looking at. I scheduled a needle biopsy when the other Radiologist was on site later that month in Alamosa, and I couldn’t believe how simple it was – a computer-assisted mammo in the same procedure room connected to a needle – and it was painless and quick, no scar, no surgery, and right there at the SLM Women's Imaging Center – which was extremely convenient.

The even bigger surprise was when Barbara Carlsen, the Registered Mammography Technologist, called to tell me, ‘It was positive, you have an early stage of breast cancer.’ She has been extremely supportive and helped me with a referral to a breast specialist surgeon in Colorado Springs.

The lumpectomy was not difficult, and I only needed five days of radiation since everything was caught at such an early stage. I interacted with Dr. Allen again in Colorado Springs because he works in both locations.

I’m so impressed with the level of professional, caring, high-tech care that I received at SLV Health. I’m telling all my friends to “Be proactive with your health and get your screenings done.”