Take me to Brigham City Community Hospital: For close-to-home, comforting care
At 8-years-old, polio attacked LeAnne Hunsaker’s body. She re-learned how to walk and received her first tracheotomy; an opening in the neck that allows a tube to be placed directly into the windpipe. Since then, physical challenges continue impacting LeAnne’s life. In fact, in the past six years she has undergone seven surgeries for various reasons and in multiple areas of the body … but even with all that, she never anticipated breast cancer.
With no family history of breast cancer and clear mammograms for decades, LeAnne approached her annual screening without trepidation or worry.
“We screen every year looking for small changes in the breast that tip us off to early forms of breast cancer,” explained Bridgette Braegger, lead mammography tech at Brigham City Community Hospital. “LeAnne hadn’t seen us the year before due to COVID, but she had screened consistently so we had a good record to compare with. Unfortunately, this year’s screening revealed a small change – an abnormality that pointed to cancer.”
Fast findings: from screening to diagnosis
Within 24 hours, LeAnne returned to Brigham City Community Hospital for an in-depth diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound.
“It was kind of a shocker when they told me what they found,” LeAnne said. “Since my health issues have gone on and on, I thought, ‘Oh no, here we go again!’ Then I just wanted to move forward and take action.”
The next step included a biopsy of the suspicious breast tissue, the only definitive way to diagnose breast cancer.
“Within a few days of the mammogram I had the biopsy at Brigham City Community Hospital. Everything happened so fast – and that’s a good thing,” LeAnne said. “The faster the better. Then you’re not sitting there with time to think and worry.”
Making mammograms comfortable
Scheduling mammograms at the same place each year makes it easier for doctors to compare results. LeAnne chooses Brigham City Community Hospital as her location to get mammograms based on two factors: convenience and kindness.
“It’s so easy when it’s close-to-home,” LeAnne said. “And the people there are wonderful. Kelly, my nurse navigator, checks on me and answers all my questions and Bridgette is very compassionate.”
Bridgette speaks of a special bond between patients and mammogram team members.
“My patients have described it to me like going to a hair salon,” Bridgette said. “They say you don’t want to change your hair lady, and you don’t want to change your boob lady. We form real relationships through the process; and we always do our best to make an uncomfortable exam very comfortable.”
Early detection, better results
The earlier breast cancer is found, the more treatment options are available and the better chances for survival. At the time of diagnosis, LeAnne had Stage 2 cancer. She has since undergone surgery to remove the area.
“The good news is, LeAnne’s cancer was identified early, so it was totally treatable,” Bridgette said. “She a perfect example of the importance of annual screenings because she’s at an age where a lot of women don’t think they need mammograms anymore.”
According to the American Cancer Society, screenings should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.
“Just get the mammogram. It’s not worth the risk and it’s not that hard to have done,” LeAnne said. “I say, ‘Take me to Brigham City Community Hospital because it’s convenient and personable.’”
Learn more about Breast Health Services at Brigham City Community Hospital.