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How a Diagnostic Mammogram at MBSH Helped Identify One Woman’s Breast Cancer Early

How a Diagnostic Mammogram at MBSH Helped Identify One Woman’s Breast Cancer Early

Routine screenings are an important part of preventive health care, delivering an early diagnosis of certain medical conditions, which can lead to better outcomes. Diagnostic screenings are also important if a problem develops – such as a lump – and further examination is warranted.

At Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital, we’re pleased to offer access to quality routine and diagnostic screenings, so you can get the care you need close to home. As an ACR-certified imaging facility, we meet the highest standards in the imaging industry, creating quality images of most organs in the body that can lead to the early detection of many conditions. Our board-certified radiologists, registered radiology technicians and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment provide an array of services, including bone density; computed tomography (CT); lung cancer screening; mammography/3D mammography; nuclear medicine; ultrasound; MRI; and x-ray.

Trisha Counts, 50, of Cuba, Mo., recently benefitted from undergoing one of these screenings at MBSH, helping to identify her breast cancer in the earliest stages when treatments are most effective.

Trisha’s Breast Cancer Journey

Given her family history with breast cancer – her mother is a breast cancer survivor – Counts has been diligent about getting annual mammograms since she was 35 years old, giving her peace of mind for the last 15 years. Then, in September 2021, Counts felt a painful lump in one of her breasts. She described it as almost the size of a nickel.

“I thought maybe it was just a cyst that developed from too much caffeine, so I cut out caffeine to see if that helped. But the lump didn’t go away,” said Counts. “After watching it for several weeks, decided to make an appointment for a diagnostic mammogram at MBSH.”

A Diagnostic Mammogram

In November 2021, Counts visited the Radiology Imaging Center at MBSH to undergo a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. The diagnostic mammogram didn’t show anything; however, the ultrasound did indicate that there was a mass. The radiologist recommended that Counts have a follow- up appointment, which showed that the mass had grown slightly, prompting the team to recommend an ultrasound-guided biopsy.

On Thursday, January 20, 2022, Counts returned to MBSH to undergo an outpatient biopsy procedure in the radiology department.

“I was scared not knowing what was going to happen,” recalled Counts. “Between the radiologist and the radiation tech, I felt really supported throughout the entire procedure, which only took 30 minutes. Now, I just had to get through the weekend while I waited for the results.”

A Breast Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment Plan

The following Monday evening, Counts got the news she suspected: the mass was stage 1 breast cancer – invasive ductal carcinoma. The next day, she was referred to a team of BJC HealthCare specialists at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis – Dr. Paul Yazdi, a breast surgeon; Dr. Melissa Rooney, a hematologist and oncologist; and Dr. Vincent Joe, a radiation oncologist – who collaborated on her case and helped determine the best course of treatment for Counts.

“Dr. Yazdi, Dr. Rooney, and Dr. Joe were all so wonderful to work with,” said Counts. “They put my mind at ease about my diagnosis and prognosis, explaining my surgical options thoroughly and assuring me that we would wait on the complete pathology report before deciding on chemo and/or radiation.”

On March 3, 2022, Counts successfully underwent a mastectomy and sentinel lymph node surgery at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. She was discharged home the next day to continue her recovery. Four days later, Counts received the pathology report: the surgery removed 100 percent of the cancer, and none of her lymph nodes were affected. She would not need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation. It was the best news for both Counts and her family, especially her husband, Richard.

“I was relieved and thankful to hear the news,” said Counts. “I feel very blessed and am a strong believer in God. I had to keep my family going for those first several weeks because they were worried. But, deep down, I knew things would be okay. I also must give credit to my husband, who was there for me every step of my journey. He was and continues to be one of my greatest supporters.”

And Now Cancer-Free

Counts is doing well today, continuing to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle. She even returned to work just four weeks after surgery. She also underwent several lymphedema therapy sessions at MBSH to help improve her some range of motion. She is currently taking Tamoxifen for the next 10 years to help reduce her risk for a recurrence.

As she reflects on her breast cancer journey, Counts is grateful she acted when she did with pursuing that diagnostic mammogram.

“I’m glad I didn’t hesitate to make that appointment,” said Counts. “And the fact that we caught my breast cancer so early made such a difference in my treatment plan and prognosis. I have so much to look forward to.”

One thing Counts is most looking forward to: being a doting grandmother. She just welcomed her first grandchild – a precious baby girl – who was born at the end of May 2022. Since she’s officially conquered breast cancer, Counts plans to put all her focus and energy into her new role as a grandmother.

To schedule a mammogram or other imaging- related service at MBSH, please call 573.468.4151 or visit https://www.missouribaptistsullivan.org/Medical-Services/Radiology-Imaging-Center/3D-Mammography

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In the News

Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital Earns ACR Accreditation 28 September 2022

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Your health care team at Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital knows that illness and injuries don’t follow a schedule. When faced with a situation that requires same-day care, deciding where to get care is the last thing you want to worry about.

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Classes and Events

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Inside this issue:
Diagnostic Mammogram at MBSH
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MBSH Hosts 22nd Annual Golf Tournament, Raises $25,000 for Ambassadors Program

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