Patient Stories  |  May 1, 2017  | 

Sharing My Experience with 3D Mammography Continues to Change My Life

The importance and value of 3D mammography remains fresh in the mind of Gail Woolard.

Gail Woolard at mammoWe first shared Gail’s story in 2016. After having gotten an annual screening mammogram for 15 years, it was a 3D mammogram – during her routine yearly visit – that detected her breast cancer at the earliest possible stage. Now, 11 months after her 3D mammogram showed a peppercorn-sized irregularity in her right breast, she’s helping other breast cancer patients and advocating for 3D screenings.

“Multiple healthcare professionals have told me that had I not opted for a 3D screening mammogram, my cancer may have not been found until at least a year later. I feel so lucky to have had it caught so early,” said Gail.

After the 3D mammogram, a core biopsy confirmed Gail’s Stage 1 breast cancer. She did not have to undergo chemotherapy and instead went through 22 days of radiation. She’ll also take medication for the next five years.

“Honestly, my life has not changed too much and I owe that to the 3D mammogram,” says Gail. “The radiation made me tired, but I kept reminding myself how much worse it could have been had my cancer not been found so early on.”

Since her diagnosis, Gail has started a campaign to help other women as they go through the difficult times that follow surgery — bringing them care packages with lotions, pads and other helpful items.

“People usually think of the surgery as the hardest part of a cancer diagnosis,” Gail explains. “But, they forget about the long road that’s ahead once surgery is over. I’m so much more aware of the process now and I try to help others as often as I can.”

Gail has already received her yearly mammogram at the Wake Radiology office in Garner and was happy to opt for the exam that changed her life – 3D mammography.

“Everywhere I go, I tell people about 3D and encourage them to receive 3D mammograms,” said Gail. “It’s critical and worth it.”

NOTE: Every day, more and more insurance providers are recognizing the importance of 3D mammography. Just this month, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced it will cover 3D mammography as part of preventative services. You can read about it here.

Wake Radiology is the Triangle leader in 3D mammography with offices in Cary, Chapel Hill, Fuquay Varina, Garner, Smithfield, Wake Forest and various locations throughout Raleigh. It’s simple to have a 3D mammogram, you can select 3D when you make an online appointment request or talk with our Scheduling Team at 919-232-4700.

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