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Linda Yarrow: Cancer Survivor Testimonial

Clay County Medical Center’s 3D mammogram highly valuable in quickly identifying cancer. A testimonial from cancer survivor Linda Yarrow:

Like many people, the covid shutdown impacted my health checkups. It wasn’t until January of 2022, when a close friend told me about her diagnosis of breast cancer, that I realized I had missed my annual mammogram in 2020 and 2021. I then scheduled my mammogram at Clay County Medical Center in February. Shortly after that, they notified me that I needed a follow-up mammogram to take a closer look at one particular area. This did not concern me because with some previous mammograms, this had occurred with findings not being a concern.

This time, the result was different. The area they had been watching in past years had crossed the threshold of what was acceptable. The Radiology department at CCMC assisted in making arrangements for a biopsy of the breast tissue. The results of the biopsy indicated I had early stage breast cancer called DCIS which is ductal carcinoma in situ. It is the presence of abnormal cells inside the milk duct. The cells are non-invasive and have not spread through the walls of the duct into surrounding breast tissue. Per the American Cancer Society, nearly all women with this type of breast cancer can be cured if caught early and treated. But, DCIS has potential to become an invasive cancer and spread to other parts of the body if not treated.

I then met with Dr. Pauls, a Manhattan surgeon who provides services via the CCMC Specialty Clinic. Dr. Pauls was very thorough explaining my results and potential risks. He emphasized that because the cancer was caught so early, and with treatment, I had very low risk of the breast cancer reoccurring. I chose a lumpectomy, performed by Dr. Pauls, which is breast conserving surgery, followed by radiation. After surgery, I started working with Dr. Bell at Central Kansas Cancer Center in Manhattan. Dr. Bell and his staff answered all my questions, supported me, and provided excellent care. I had 19 radiation treatments over a month. Through the entire process from mammograms through radiation, I had excellent care at all levels. I was able to maintain my work and leisure activities and felt good the entire process.

My breast cancer was so small it could not be detected through a physical exam. The 3D mammogram at CCMC was highly valuable in quickly identifying the cancer. Early screening and detection, along with state-of the art- treatments are the keys to avoiding death from cancer. As a breast cancer survivor, I now feel the responsibility to promote self-care and routine checkups because early detection saves lives.