Early Detection to Positive Outcome

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Early Detection to Positive Outcome

Patient Spotlight

Picture of Felicia, Mackenzie Health patient.jpgWhen it comes to breast cancer, a timely referral from a family physician means early detection and can mean better outcomes. Felicia Prokopetz was 56 when her new family physician, Dr. Small, flagged her for her first mammogram. Given her age, it was time to make a referral.

A mammogram (breast x-ray) is the best screening test to detect signs of early breast cancer, whether you’re experiencing symptoms or not. Felicia had no common symptoms but her mammogram revealed a lump.

Mackenzie Health’s Breast Health Centre uses ultrasound, mammography and surgery to treat a wide range of breast conditions. Felicia underwent a Radioactive Seed Localization (RSL) procedure. This approach uses a seed containing a tiny amount of radiation, which guides a surgeon to find and take out a mass. RSL is less invasive than some other traditional options. It’s also easier to schedule, meaning surgeons can help more patients per day.

“I would never have detected it on my own,” says Felicia. “If it wasn’t for Dr. Small sending the referral to Mackenzie Health, my cancer could have been worse.”

Today Felicia continues to be seen by Dr. Francis Patafio in Mackenzie Health’s Medical Oncology unit. Felicia will continue to take medication, once a day for the next five years as part of her ongoing treatment.

Mackenzie Health’s Breast Health Centre provides timely, thorough care for patients with an abnormal breast test result. The goal is to provide the ultimate in care for patients from initial referral to assessment, diagnosis and treatment.

“To this day I am grateful that my new family doctor referred me to Mackenzie Health for my mammogram. Even though my test result was abnormal, and more tests were needed to confirm a diagnosis, Dr. Small reassured me that I would receive the best possible care,” says Felicia.