Mammograms Save Lives

With no family history of breast cancer, Vivian Ong, a pharmacy technician at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, was shocked to receive a diagnosis of early stage breast cancer earlier this year. She never imagined that the mammogram appointment she made on a whim would end up saving her life.

It had been 10 years since Vivian’s last mammogram, so when she saw a flyer advocating for breast health awareness in the hospital, she casually decided it was time to make an appointment. She called our scheduling center on a Friday afternoon and went in for her mammogram the following Monday at the Pomona Valley Health Center in Chino Hills.

As the radiologist examined her mammogram X-rays, he noticed signs of a potential abnormality and immediately ordered an ultrasound for Vivian. Based on her ultrasound results, she was then scheduled to have an MRI and a biopsy of her breast tissue. Although this whirlwind of testing was stressful for Vivian, she says she is thankful for her breast health nurse navigator, Elizabeth Jimenez, BSN, RN, who helped her with scheduling and kept her calm throughout the process.

Vivian was soon diagnosed with stage 0 ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a non-invasive breast cancer that had not yet spread beyond the milk duct. With this diagnosis, Vivian underwent a mastectomy to remove the cancer from her breast. Because of the early detection from the mammogram, there was no need for follow-up radiation or chemotherapy, and Vivian is now cancer-free.

“What a blessing,” says Vivian. “I didn’t feel it was important or that I needed a mammogram, but something told me that I should make that appointment.”

Early detection is key to improving breast cancer survival rates for women, and advanced imaging technology has made early-stage diagnosis much more common. According to the American Cancer Society, women ages 40-54 should have a screening mammogram every year. Women ages 55 and older can switch to having a mammogram every two years.

Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center offers advanced 3D mammograms to all of our patients who visit our imaging centers at the Pomona Valley Health Centers in Chino Hills, La Verne and Claremont, and at the Breast Health Center at The Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center in Pomona. Call 909.469.9395 to schedule your appointment today.

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