Survivor Credits Cutting Edge Technology For Best Chance In Fight Against Aggressive Breast Cancer

Friday, June 11th 2021, 5:10 pm

According to statistics, about 1 in every 8 U.S. women will get a breast cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. As technology improves people can catch their cancer earlier than before.

Lorie Wade took advantage of those medical advancements.

Wade survived an aggressive breast cancer diagnosis back in 2017. She said she owes her life to the newer cancer detecting technology.

"If I didn't have that genetic testing, would I have done the 3D mammogram, and would I be sitting here today? Can't answer that question," Wade said.

Wade knew she'd be likely to get a breast cancer diagnosis after her father was diagnosed. 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 testing myself and it came back that I had the BRCA gene," Wade said. "Having that knowledge of my BRCA gene and seeking out those professionals to see what is available to be proactive."

Even though her annual mammogram came back clear in 2017, because she had the breast cancer gene Wade told doctors she wanted to try out the 3D mammogram.

"The 3D mammogram is what picked up on my cancer," she said.

"Right at the smallest stage where you can ever find breast cancer on a mammogram. That's super important with her because her cancer was a particularly aggressive cancer,” Dr. William Dooley said.

Dooley is a professor of surgical breast oncology with OU Health. He was also Wade's doctor throughout her battle with breast cancer.

Dooley said the 3D mammograms allows physicians to see the smallest details in the breast tissue.

"You're able to look through the denser areas of the breast and see if there's something a little denser than the surrounding areas," Dooley said. "[It's] kind of like flipping through spiral sliced ham and looking for the patterns or the fat."

Dooley said genetic testing is not just for women who have a history of breast cancer in their family. Men with close relatives who've had a breast cancer diagnosis can benefit from it as well.