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by Healthe at Cerner
Published on September 11, 2017

Each year, women at our Kansas City campuses have the opportunity to schedule an appointment for a mammogram screening with an on-site mobile mammography unit. In 2016, 147 women received an on-site mammogram screening. One associate, Georgia Ramage, discusses how this routine screening helped save her life.

Like many of us, Georgia’s busy life made it easy for her to put others ahead of herself. This includes monitoring her health and delaying her annual preventive mammogram screening.

But six years ago, a friend and fellow associate convinced Georgia to register for an appointment with the on-site mobile mammography unit; a decision that would change her life. Georgia recalled, “We were walking past the Healthe Clinic at the time and she reasoned it would only take a few minutes.” After her appointment, Georgia was called and told a follow-up ultrasound was recommended. While she wasn’t concerned initially, she knew something wasn’t right when the radiologist came into the room after her ultrasound. Georgia said, “The radiologist took my hand and gently explained that they had picked up a small, solid tumor-like lump in my right breast. She recommended I consult a breast surgeon for a biopsy.”

In a state of shock, Georgia found herself crying in her car – no recollection of leaving the doctor’s office. She recalls speaking to her husband after receiving the news, “I called my husband at work and he said all the right things. This did not necessarily mean cancer, everything would be fine and he loved me.”

After it was confirmed that the tumor did indeed indicate cancer, Georgia and her husband met with the surgeon and discussed her options. At the time, they were also informed the tumor was up against her chest wall. Without the mammogram, it would likely never have been found until it was much too late.

Post surgery, Georgia awoke in recovery to her surgeon telling her there was microinvasion in her lymph nodes, so it had been necessary to remove them from her right arm. This discovery also meant she would have to see an oncologist for chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Throughout her experience, Georgia’s husband, son and friends provided her strength, encouragement and laughter along the way. She also received tremendous support from her follow associates. She said, “I treasure the book, The Little Engine That Could, presented to me and signed by my Cerner family when I completed treatment.”

Now, Georgia is cancer-free and has advice for other women who may also be delaying scheduling a mammogram screening. She said, “I am here today, healthy and happy, because a mammogram found a tumor early enough. It has been six wonderful years of life and love I might not have experienced without that mammogram.”

She continued, “When I think of all the laughter and friendship I could have missed, I am so grateful. Thanks to my employer bringing the mammogram to me, I am here to tell other women to get your mammogram screening.”

When she was first diagnosed with breast cancer, Georgia asked for enough time to see her son graduate from high school. “She not only is cancer-free but got to see him graduate from college.”