Ezra’s mission to detect cancer early for everyone is one of the main reasons I joined as the Ezra Medical Director. Professionally, as an Emergency Physician, I have seen the significant difference of early versus late diagnosis for my patients.
More personally, I have experienced it as a breast cancer survivor. I have a family history of breast cancer and I started getting yearly mammograms in my thirties. One Tuesday afternoon in November I received the news I was dreading. I had a suspicious lesion on my mammogram that was eventually biopsied and found to be invasive ductal carcinoma that was estrogen and progesterone receptor positive – in short, breast cancer. Fear gripped every inch of my body and my life came to a halt.
Even though I was a doctor, my fear was precipitated by everything else that I was: a mother of two little girls, a wife, a daughter, and a sister. I needed to be around. I wanted to be around. I had to be around. My family was the driving force that made me proactive and vigilant about my health, specifically my yearly mammograms in the first place.
After years of being the doctor I now became the patient. It was a role I never wanted to have. But I had an amazing team of doctors. An extremely skilled surgeon who excised the 1cm mass that had not spread to any other part of my body, not even my local lymph nodes. And then my brilliant and compassionate oncologist who guided me forward.
Because my cancer was Stage 1 and had not spread, I was extremely fortunate to only need radiation therapy and tamoxifen with an estrogen blocking medicine. Because my cancer was detected early I did not need chemotherapy or to take medicine to put me into menopause as treatment.
Early detection of my breast cancer not only improved the quality of my life but it saved my life.
Nine years later, I am healthy. I am present for my children. I continue to have invaluable experiences with family and friends. Additionally,I have the privilege of being the Medical Director at Ezra where our mission of early detection of cancer could not resonate more with my experience as a doctor and a cancer warrior.
And today, true to our mission at Ezra, we are excited to announce the addition of the Enhanced Breast Cancer Detection (EBCD) screening mammogram with RadNet. The EBCD screening mammogram is an artificial intelligence (AI) enabled mammogram to improve the accuracy of a mammogram reading. It helps improve the overall cancer detection rate as evidenced in a recent clinical study. Currently AI-enabled mammography readings are being studied worldwide and have one of the most promising uses of AI in healthcare. What does this mean for women in their day to day lives? It means that improving the accuracy of mammogram readings will help women detect breast cancer earlier and give them a better chance of an improved quality of life. When breast cancer is detected early in stage 1, the five-year survival rate is an impressive 99%. It is paramount to get regular screening mammograms, as it is the most reliable way to find breast cancer early with having experienced this personally.
I have so much to be thankful for, every Thanksgiving that marks the anniversary of my diagnosis and every other day that I continue living a fulfilling life, and that is largely thanks to early detection.
If you are over 35 and interested in an EBCD Mammogram, you can book a scan via My Ezra.