LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Baptist Health is sharing its mission of answering patients’ questions and proving when it comes to your health, knowledge is power.
For Baptist Health patient Ebony Miller, her quest for answers began in college with a doctor’s visit that would change her life.
“My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 1997,” Miller explained. “It’s always been at the forefront of my mind.”
It’s a fight many women in her family have had to take up, and a path she worried would come for her next.
As a “high-risk” patient, Miller is no stranger to the Baptist Health Breast Center, going twice a year for tests and scans. Dr. Amanda Ferrell sees cases like hers all day, and the work never seems to stop; but it’s work she loves, pouring over images for an all-clear or catching something early. Both happen often.
“The push from October till the end of the year is… we’re full up busy pretty much every day,” Dr. Ferrell explained. “If you do a little math, that’s a lot of people who aren’t dying of breast cancer and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we have such good screening.”
It’s the type of confirmation one can expect from just one quick scan – and information that could mean life or death.
“For people who come in for a diagnostic appointment, you will not leave our department until we decide you need a biopsy, you need a six-month follow-up, or you’re ok for a year,” Dr. Ferrell added.
That first step, she says, is just walking through the door, a simple move Miller knows can finally turn worries into answers.
“I have all the genetic markers to fight cancer,” Miller said, “which again, is a relief knowing my family history…. you’re not sitting somewhere wondering, will it pop up today?”
When booking a mammogram, Dr. Ferrell recommends all women begin their yearly screening at 40 and those with a lifetime high-risk start at 30.
For more on the Baptist Health Breast Center, please visit BaptistHealth.com.