ALBANY, GA (WALB) - You probably know breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in women. But great treatment is available here.
Phoebe Putney's Carlton Breast Health Center is one of 24 in the state named a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.
New technology has changed what this center is able to do. But if women don't get checked, there is no way of knowing if the cancer is there.
There's a message Nadine Oliver wants other breast cancer patients to know. "It's going to be alright. Do exactly what your doctors tell you to do because they are there to help you…"
But that's not her only message. Oliver first found a bump when she was doing a self-exam. She called Phoebe immediately. "Once you do your self exam and you feel something go ahead and go."
Oliver is one of 200 people found with cancer at the Phoebe Carlton Breast Health Center in the last year. " I knew then that something was wrong. It wasn't only the lump itself but it was painful," she said.
Oliver was checked with the new 3-D screening software, which medical director Shailaja Sappata says allows the mammogram to be more accurate. "The reason we like it is because it is almost like you are separating the branches of a tree and it gives you a clearer view of the breast," Sappata said.
She says people often wait too long after feeling a lump. "They wait at least five six months before they come in but those five to six months are enough to alter the outcome," Sappata said.
Oliver is lucky she made an appointment right away. Within days she was in for a biopsy. "The whole time that I was in the consultation room with that nurse she was so confident and so reassuring that you are going to be okay."
Oliver is done with five of her six chemotherapy treatments. She says she's staying positive, knowing she's in the right hands right here at home. "What the big city can offer, we can offer with the convenience of home," Sappata said.
Many people don't realize that they don't need a doctor's referral to come here for a screening. If you are over the age of 40 and haven't had a screening, all you need to do is provide a doctor's name.