According to Statistics, about 1 in 8 US women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. As technology improves, people can get their cancer sooner than before.
Lorie Wade took advantage of these medical advances.
Wade survived an aggressive diagnosis of breast cancer in 2017. She said she owed her life to newer cancer detection technology.
“If I hadn’t had this genetic test, I would have done the 3D mammography and would I sit here today? Can’t answer that question,” said Wade.
Wade knew that if her father was diagnosed, she would likely be diagnosed with breast cancer. Her first step was to get a genetic test to see how high that risk would be.
“He had the BRCA gene, then I had the test myself and it came back that I had the BRCA gene,” said Wade. “Having this knowledge of my BRCA gene and seeing these professionals to see what is available to be proactive.”
Even though her 2017 annual mammogram was clear again because she had the breast cancer gene, Wade told doctors she wanted to try 3D mammography.
“The 3D mammogram detected my cancer,” she said.
“Exactly at the smallest stage where you can find breast cancer on a mammogram. This is very important to you because your cancer was a particularly aggressive type of cancer,” said Dr. William Dooley.
Dooley is Professor of Surgical Breast Oncology at OU Health. He was also Wade’s doctor during her battle with breast cancer.
Dooley said the 3D mammograms allow doctors to see the smallest details in breast tissue.
“You can look through the denser areas of your chest and see if something is denser than the areas around it,” Dooley said. “[It’s] like scrolling through spirally cut ham looking for the patterns or the fat. “
Dooley said genetic testing isn’t just for women who have had breast cancer in their families. Men with close relatives who have been diagnosed with breast cancer can also benefit.