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PATIENTS & FAMILIES

  • Karen A. Starr-Brady, New Jersey

    karen“Without annual screenings and the use of high-tech medical imaging services such as breast MRI, I wouldn’t be here today.”

    Karen heard the words “you have breast cancer” on Dec. 26, 2007. Merry Christmas indeed.

    After a mammogram yielded suspicious results, Karen’s doctor ordered what turned out to be a lifesaving breast MRI – a scan that confirmed her cancer early and accurately. As in Karen’s case, some forms of breast cancer are difficult to diagnose using mammography alone for women who have dense, fibrocystic breasts.

    Since her diagnosis two years ago, Karen has undergone countless doctor visits, biopsies, mammograms, ultrasounds, breast MRIs, PET and CT scans, chemo and radiation therapies and a lumpectomy. Despite the tolls these treatments have taken, Karen knows that they likely pale in comparison to what she would have gone through or the costs she would have incurred had she not received the right scan at the right time.

    Today Karen looks forward to the switch from biannual to annual screenings, but is concerned that the nearly 1 in 8 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the future will not have access to the same high-tech medical imaging tools for early diagnosis. She is concerned that Medicare reimbursement cuts will add to the recent decline in the use of mammography, just as we start to see the benefits of decades of breast cancer prevention and early detection education. More cuts would slash support for women when they need it most.

    Read more about how proposed cuts to medical imaging would affect New Jersey patients and preventative services throughout the country.

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