“Northwest is my hospital for women’s imaging.” — Jaime Doyle
Jaime Doyle was still in her 30s and hadn’t yet begun regular screening mammograms when she felt a pain in her left breast and discovered a small lump. “It really concerned me,” she says.
Anxious to find out what it was, she went to see her doctor right away, then scheduled an imaging test at Northwest Texas Healthcare System.
“I went there, and everyone was really nice,” she says. “They had a great bedside manner. They talked me through the 3D mammogram. They also did an ultrasound.” The imaging results did not identify any concerns, and follow-up testing was recommended. A later appointment at Northwest found an abnormality, and a biopsy thankfully determined it was benign (noncancerous).
Diagnostic Breast Radiologist Angelena Ho, MD, explains that it was a fibrocystic change, which many women experience. This noncancerous condition can cause a number of symptoms, including breast pain and tenderness that may come and go at different times of the month, as Doyle was having. “Fibrocystic changes are very commonly seen in women who are still menstruating, directly related to hormonal change, from teens to menopausal age,” says Dr. Ho.
Doyle is a busy mom of two daughters and says it was “definitely a relief” to find out that her symptoms were nothing to worry about. What really stood out was the supportive care she received, and how concerned everyone was with how she was feeling. She now considers Northwest her hospital for imaging services. “The people are the reason I come back,” she says.
Annual mammographic screening is recommended beginning at age 40 for women at average risk for breast cancer, according to the American College of Radiology (ACR®). To schedule your mammogram or for other specialized breast care, call 806-351-6266.
Diagnosing breast changes
Women’s breasts are continually evolving and changing based on hormonal fluctuations and other factors. While certain breast changes can be normal, it’s important to have recommended breast cancer screenings and see your doctor if you have a lump, nipple discharge, nipple changes, or other new or different symptoms, says Diagnostic Breast Radiologist Angelena Ho, MD.
“The doctor can send the patient for imaging that will help catch something abnormal at the earliest stages possible, to give the patient more options of treatments and a better outcome,” says Mammography Technologist Irene S. Walker, BS, RT(R)(M). “Or testing will help to alleviate the worries of the patient if the change is something benign or normal for their breast.”