Tag Archives: breast cancer

Alegent Creighton Health

Three-time Breast Cancer Survivor


Patient Stories

photo courtesy of Bell Photography Vira Brooks had three sons in high school. And she had newly-diagnosed breast cancer. “I remember hearing the words, ‘You have cancer,’” she said. “Those words set you back I don’t know how many millenniums.” It was a tough time for the busy mom, who’s also an administrative assistant in the Omaha Public Schools’ Special Education Services.”I decided to do what I had to do to at least see them graduate,” she said, reflecting on that time 19 years ago. James, her oldest, was a senior at Creighton Prep. Twins Justin and Jason were a couple of years younger and students at North High. “I told them all, ‘Mom will be at your graduation.’” After … Continue reading

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Alegent Creighton Health

3-D Mammogram Catches Breast Cancer Early


Patient Stories

When Carmen Campisi called to schedule her mammogram, she hadn’t heard of the new 3-D technology, or tomosynthesis, at Alegent Creighton Health Lakeside Hospital. A spur-of-the-moment decision to try it may have saved her life. The employee scheduling her appointment mentioned the new technology, which is only available at the Lakeside Imaging Department of the Women’s Center. While the digital 2-D mammogram is considered the “gold standard” for detection of breast cancer, the 3-D technology turns 15 digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or slices, making early detection easier. Campisi decided to give the 3-D a try, never suspecting her tests would be positive. She had a biopsy 12 years ago and her mother died in … Continue reading

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Alegent Creighton Health

Beating Breast Cancer


Patient Stories

“I think about it every day” Susan McArdle feels like she dodged a bullet. The 40-year-old mother of two young sons hadn’t had an annual physical for five years so when her primary care physician scheduled a mammogram for her, she went reluctantly. After all, there was no history of breast cancer in her family. That test probably saved her life. “Instead of having it in January, I probably would have waited until December,” she said. When the results of her mammogram were suspicious, she was called back for an ultrasound and then a biopsy. The doctor performing the biopsy didn’t respond when McArdle joked about probably just having a cyst. “So I asked her, ‘Just tell me what the … Continue reading

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Eric Van De Graaff, M.D.

Can’t Win For Losing


Cardiology

This morning while eating breakfast I came across a story in the newspaper announcing that an occasional glass of wine can increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer by 15%. I immediately rushed across the room to where my wife was standing and swatted the Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2007 out of her hand before she had a chance to take her first deadly sip. Her mouth dropped open and her eyes gleamed with what I’m sure was gratitude for my quick thinking and decisive action. The next moment, though, the fact that I’m a heart doctor popped into my head and I recalled that we cardiologists have been promoting the heart-friendly attributes of regular wine ingestion for years. … Continue reading

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Alegent Creighton Health

My Journey from Breast Cancer


Patient Stories

I do not have a family history of any type of cancer.  The furthest thing from my mind was that one day I would join the “pink ribbon club” but all of that changed on Thursday, January 29, 2009 when I discovered a lump in my left breast.  I followed up with my doctor the next week and we decided to watch it for a month.  My second appointment was on March 4 and since the tumor had not changed, my doctor sent me for another mammogram, ultrasound and needle biopsy.  I was told on St. Patrick’s Day that the results of the needle biopsy indicated that the tumor was cancerous.  My doctor recommended that I go to the breast … Continue reading

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