MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – According to the American Cancer Society, screening mammograms miss about 1 in 8 breast cancers, and women with dense breasts are more likely to get false-negative results.
So a year ago, Audrey Touse thought she was “all clear” until further testing revealed the disease.
“Well, I got another clear report, which was amazing, and I felt like I was good until next year,” said breast cancer survivor Audrey Tokes.
All clear were the two words Audrey Tokes said she needed to hear last August 31. She never thought her dense breast tissue would warrant further testing. After about two weeks, his relief was short-lived.
“I was at home and I was just putting on my daily lotion and it was just enough to rub my right breast and I thought I was going to feel something,” Tokes said.
Although Touse said she wasn’t concerned, she wasted no time in bringing it up to a doctor at Baptist Women’s Hospital.
“He felt what I felt and did an ultrasound in the office and that’s what I was expecting. But he also felt he needed to go ahead and do a needle biopsy. I wasn’t expecting that at all,” Tause said. “The next day was October 13th, so on October 14th, Dr. Vanderwall called to say it was malignant and he was very sorry.”
Taux was diagnosed with hormonal breast cancer.
“There is some compelling evidence that there is something in the dense tissue itself that can cause breast cancer,” says Martha Elizabeth Glenn, MD, a diagnostic radiologist at Baptist Women’s Health Center.
Therefore, a diagnostic radiologist at the Baptist Women’s Health Center suggests that women with a family history of high risk should seek additional screening.
“She might benefit from a 3-D mammogram that looks for density a little better. That’s one of the great advantages of 3-D mammography, tomosynthesis, otherwise she would benefit from an ultrasound,” Glenn said.
It’s a message that not only doctors hope women will heed during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but it’s something women should know as well.
“If you’ve been told at any point in your life that you have dense breast tissue, you need to be your own best advocate. You need to take care of yourself and those you love,” Tause said.
Tause said she’s waiting for her final scan to find out if she’s cancer-free, but hopes more people will do breast self-exams and get screened.
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