Cancer Edition

2017

Goldsboro News Argus Cancer Edition

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Sunday, October 8, 2017 Goldsboro News-Argus — 13A Do you mammo? Schedule yours today. 252.399.8900 Phyllis Smith leans out of the window in front of her desk at Wayne Radiation Oncology on Thursday, Sept.14. After 13 years of working as a receptionist and providing support to patients with cancer she became a patient. F or 13 years,Phyllis Smith has been one of the warm,smiling faces greeting patients at Wayne Radiation Oncology. Despite witnessing all the cancers and conditions that brought people through those doors,nothing prepared her to be on the receiving end of the services. "You're used to everybody else walking in,and you're trying to be nice and kind of sensitive and then all of a sudden it's me,"she said. She was so unsuspecting that when it came time for her regular mammogram in February of this year,she had the appointment during her lunch hour and thought nothing more about it. Mid-afternoon,though,she received a call requesting she return for a 3-D mam- mogram and ultrasound. "A lot of people have that to happen," she said."I wasn't real concerned about it. "I told my husband about it.He asked if I wanted him to come with me.'If you want to,you can,' I said." The couple went to the next visit together. Within minutes of the test,she said the doctor asked to speak with her. "I see the image,and I see a spot,and I'm familiar with those spots,"she said of what awaited her. "I'm just kind of thinking,'No,it can't be.' "He did kind of emphasize the fact that it was very small,that it was nothing that I had done to cause it.It had proba- bly been there for a couple years but was so very small that it hadn't been detect- ed." After the follow-up ultrasound and breast biopsy,that report was delivered through her boss,Dr.Kevin Kerlin. "He threw it down on my desk.I saw 'malignant,'"Smith said."I looked back at him,'OK,I see it,but what does it mean?' "He told me that I had joined the ranks of people in the world,that I was a statis- tic now — I had cancer.He said,'If I can't take care of this,I need to quit my job.'" That gave her hope,she says now. Her long-time employer talked to her like a doctor,she said,but also from a compassionate standpoint,allowing her to take it all in and process the informa- For the past 13 years,Phyllis Smith has been the warm,smiling face greeting patients as they entered Wayne Radiation Oncology. She never suspected that one day she would be diagnosed with breast cancer. The value of imaging By ROCHELLE MOORE Two imaging tests are now offering doctors and patients some of the latest technology in identifying the early stages of cancer. Wayne UNC Health Care and Wayne Radiologists added 3-D digital mammography test- ing equipment a year ago,and the hospital has more recently added a new low-dose computed tomography (CT) test that can detect lung cancer early. "We do a very low-dose CT,so it doesn't have much resolution for us but we can cer- tainly see the lungs,"said Dr. Brian Munro,vice chairman of radiology at Wayne UNC Health Care. "The lungs don't require a lot of radiation to be able to see pulmonary nodules in the lungs,and that's basically what we're looking for. Some lung cancers will present early but some don't present until they're late stage and that's why they're not treatable. "The goal is to catch ones that present earlier." The low-dose CT screening is available to people with a 30-pack history,meaning someone who smoked a pack of cigarettes each day for 30 years or an equal amount, such as two packs per day for 15 years. Patients need to be between the ages of 55 and 77 and have not quit smoking during the last 15 years. 3-D MAMMOGRAPHY The addition of 3-D mammography testing is also making a difference by helping doc- tors better identify abnormalities in breast tissue and leading to fewer repeat medical vis- its,Munro said. Dr. Brian Munro looks at a chest scan on Monday,Sept.11 at Wayne UNC Health Care. Using the microphone he is holding,doctors can dictate what they observe for their patients records. A long battle Diagnosed with dysplasia, a precursor to cervical cancer, Amy Woodard underwent several surgeries over a nearly 15-year span . Page 14A Finding the strength Eli Hudson was shocked and devastated by his colon cancer diagnosis,but with the support of his family and church,he got through it and is in remission. Page 15A Coping with loss Diane Mitchell lost her husband,Jerry,to pancreatic cancer. She was his caregiver for two years during the fight. Page 16A Becoming the patient See PATIENT, Page 18A See IMAGING, Page 18A Story by Phyllis Moore Photos by Casey Mozingo

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