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Buddy Check 3 March (Kathryn Daniel)
Buddy Check Three is a segment we do each month on the topic of breast health.
In tonight's segment, Channel Three's Kathryn Daniel is our patient.
40-percent of women have dense breast tissue -- I'm in that group.
For several years -- my doctors have been monitoring a palpable lump in my right breast.
It does not show up on my annual mammogram, but i can feel it and it's often painful..
When i heard about a new machine at Sacred Heart's Ann Baraco Center designed for women with dense breast tissue, I volunteered.
Radiologist Donald Farmer says the Automated Breast Ultrasound -- or ABUS -- uses no radiation .
Trouble spots within dense tissue look much darker or lighter on ultrasound than on a mammogram -- and are easier to detect.
"The dense breast tissue is difficult to penetrate with mammography and provide you with an image which you can see these subtle differences in density you're looking for."
The automated scanner takes data and provides a 3-D Image.
"If we see something, it's reproducible. And if a woman comes back a year later, we know that exact area of the breast should look exactly the same way."
My exam takes just a few minutes and is done by veteran radiology and mammo tech Bonnie Thomas.
"One on one with the patient. I enjoy spending time, i enjoy the being the patient and calming their fears just women talking to women."
She's so sweet and calm -- before i know it, i'm looking at my films with Doctor Farmer and suddenly I'm not relaxed.
Farmer finds the exact spot i've felt for years.
There is something there...And he says I need to have a diagnostic targeted ultrasound.
Farmer explains something I never knew -- even after doing breast cancer stories for more than five years.
"Women with dense breast tissue particularly, we know there's an increased risk of breast cancer with dense breasts."
Three days later, we're back for the diagnostic ultrasound...Bonnie's on the controls
And within just a few minutes, Farmer has news.
The lump is a fibrous tumor with no blood flow -- not breast cancer.
He does not recommend a biopsy right now -- but says i need to have another exam in six months.
He says if i notice the area growing at all, or getting hard -- to call him right away.
If you are not sure if your breasts are dense -- ask your gynecologist to check your latest mammogram report -- that info is often listed in the doctors' notes.
If it's not, as them to review the films and let you know. It's crucial info to have...Research has shown women with the highest levels of breast density were found to have 4-6 times increased risk for malignant tumors.
You can find more health related news on our website, weartv.com under the Health tab. Related health stories click here.