Rhonda Walker, center, with CHC/SEK-Fort Scott Mammography Technologists Suzanne Quick, left, and Jennifer Dugan.

Rhonda’s Story: Mammogram detects patient’s cancer early

“It’d been a lot of years since I had a screening,” Rhonda Walker says admittedly.   

Rhonda, a 65-year-old patient from Fort Scott, went to a doctor’s appointment and was asked if she had a mammography screening recently. She had not. An appointment was promptly made, and in April, she finally got that screening.   

She was glad she did.   

Through the screening, it was discovered that she had two small masses. Rhonda came back for an ultrasound confirming the diagnosis, and she had a biopsy just a few days later.   

“They caught it at stage zero [has not spread to other areas],” Rhonda says. “It did not get outside of my milk ducts, so I did not have to do chemotherapy.”  

Rhonda had surgery to remove the masses and six weeks of radiation.   

“I was very fortunate. They (the doctor) said in about six months it would have been full-blown [spread],” she says.   

It was the early detection, Rhonda says, that most likely prevented the spread.   

Through BRCA genetic testing, Rhonda also discovered her cancer was most likely caused by a gene that increases the risk of developing certain cancers. Shortly after finding that out, she prompted her daughters to get mammogram screenings, too.   

“Both of my daughters have already been in to get mammos,” Rhonda proudly said and noted that she’s already encouraged her 24-year-old granddaughter to get one when she’s old enough.  

“Keep up with them, do them yearly,” Rhonda says. “Tell your friends and family, especially your daughters.”  

Rhonda expressed her appreciation for CHC/SEK-Fort Scott Mammography Technologists Jennifer Dugan and Suzanne Quick, as well as Ultrasound Technologist Leslie May, for being gentle and comforting during her visits for mammograms and ultrasounds.   

“All of them, they are awesome young ladies,” she says. “Nothing but high praises for all of them. They were always as gentle as they can be. Could not ask for a better staff.”   

CHC/SEK invites women to celebrate their health at its “Celebrate You” 3D mammography screening event. Stop by our clinic at 1011 S Mount Carmel Place, Pittsburg any time between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1 to get screened. There’s no referral or order required. Most insurances are accepted, no one is denied care. There will be free refreshments and a gift.  For women aged 40 to 74 years of age, it is recommended to have a screening mammogram every one to two years. For questions call 620-223-8484. 

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