At age 57, Judy knew she should have had screening mammograms by her age. But it was easy to put it off because her family didn’t have a history of breast cancer, she was busy with a full time job at a daily newspaper, and she didn’t go to the doctor that often. At the urging of her husband, she finally scheduled an appointment for a checkup at her HealthPartners clinic. A nurse practitioner noticed in Judy’s electronic medical record that she was overdue for a mammogram. But again, daily demands including her husband’s health problems, pushed it to the back burner.
Several months later, an inflamed tendon in Judy’s right shoulder prompted her to go back to the clinic. The nurse practitioner again gently suggested she get a mammogram. This time, there was no excuse to delay the test. Her clinic offered her a same-day mammogram and the nurse was able to set up the appointment right way at the clinic. The test revealed a mass that could have only been detected by a mammogram. Three weeks later, Judy underwent a lumpectomy at and her chances for full recovery are excellent.
Judy admits that if the mammogram had not been offered at the same time as her shoulder appointment, she probably would have put it off again. “I would have gotten it eventually, but getting it when I did probably saved my life.”
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