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Donna's story: 'It could be any one of us'

Donna Hereford has paid attention to her breast health for many years. She does routine self-exams, and schedules screening mammograms every year. So when the “Love Yourself” staff mammogram event was announced for Liberty Hospital employees, she signed up immediately.

Donna has no family history and never had an abnormal result, so she was surprised to receive a call from Dr. Amy Patel saying she found “something” and asking her to come back for a sonogram-guided biopsy. With Donna’s history of cancer – she conquered colon cancer in 2010 – Dr. Patel suggested a biopsy rather than a conservative “wait and see” approach.

“Dr. Patel reassured me, saying ‘I’m not worried about this,’” Donna said. “She told me it was so small, I would not have felt it on my own, and we wouldn’t have caught it without the 3D mammogram,” Donna said.

Dr. Patel’s predictions were correct: the spot deflated during the biopsy, confirming it was not of concern. Donna says if it had been “something,” then finding it so early would have provided better treatment options because early detection always works in the patient’s favor.

“Throughout the process, the staff of the Breast Care Center was amazing and made me feel comfortable and confident,” Donna said. “You never think it’s going to be you, but I know life doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to take advantage of great opportunities like this to get screened because it could be any one of us.”

Donna says this was her “best mammogram experience ever,” and she encourages everyone eligible to get screened. For hospital employees, the next staff mammogram day is Aug. 19, 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call x7016 to schedule.