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Buddy Check 3

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Buddy Check 3 October

Updated: Tuesday, March 19 2013, 11:01 AM CDT
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month -- but all year long here at Channel Three we bring you stories about the latest in prevention, detection and treatment.

Each month we highlight an aspect of the illness. Reporter Kathryn Daniel has headed up this segment for almost two years.

During that time Kathryn has met many memorable survivors who have accommodated her requests, answered personal questions when they didn't feel well, and bravely let us into their recovery.

Tonight, the tables are turned.

The reporter finds herself the patient.

Here's this month's Buddy Check Three.

I have asked countless women if we could film their mammograms. Some refused, most accepted. Now I know just how they felt.

About six weeks ago, I felt something different in my breast. With no known family history -- my mother is adopted -- and at 38, I feel funny asking for a mammogram. Even though I've done dozens of stories with breast cancer specialists and survivors telling me otherwise.

Vikki Jordan/Baptist Hospital; "I think if you ever feel a problem no matter what age you are, we actually have kids that are, teenage years that feel something and we have had a young person that was 13 that had a very odd kind of Breast Cancer, so I think if you have a problem, you feel something you should at least get it check out."

A complete breast exam confirmed what I thought I felt...A nurse also feels something unusual.

Vikki Jordan; "She said she did feel a little area that felt different, kind of like not a mass, but that the tissue feels a little off there that it would be a good idea to get it checked out, to make sure that it is nothing."

My first mammogram ever is a little uncomfortable. Plenty of pressure, but nothing unbearable. It takes about five minutes.

Mammography Vikki Jordan processes the films. She shows them to me, but I don't know what I'm looking for so all I see are masses.

Because I have what is called a palpable abnormality meaning you can feel some kind of mass. I am scheduled for an ultrasound the next day. Normally, I'd have it done right away, but I have another story set up and an interview waiting.

The next morning I meet Christie Brown, the head sonographer.

I get an ultra sound, and within minutes radiologist Mark Connell is reading my films...Comparing the mammograms and ultrasound pictures side by side.

Quickly he tells me what I think is great news -- neither set show any kind of tumor.

Dr. Mark Connell/Baptist Hospital; "It could be an area of thickening, being fibro cystic, a change with the breast. Or even what we call on Occult Breast Cancer, meaning that we cannot see it, it is not detected on the mammogram or on the ultra sound exam."

I was all excited until I hear the term "Occult Breast Cancer." what's that?

Dr. Mark Connell; "There are Breast Cancers you cannot see. I am amazed on an almost daily basis at the appearance of Breast Cancer. Breast Cancer has many faces. There are cancers you can only see on mammograms, there are breast cancers you can only see on ultrasound, there are Breast Cancers you can only see on M.R.I."

Because we can feel "something", but not see it on film, Doctor Connell says I should see my gynecologist this week.

Dr. Mark Connell; "If there is anything suspicious on a clinical exam then he may refer you on for a by a breast surgeon."

Doctor Connell says I may need a Breast MRI and a tissue biopsy -- my doctor will decide...Overall I'm mostly relieved but still I know I need to see my doctor soon...My mother has had many similar experiences that have always turned out fine...Connell says we are our genetics, so I'm not in a panic.

Kathryn Daniel, Channel Three News.

Kathryn will see her doctor soon and we'll update you on her progress.Buddy Check 3 October


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