My livelihood these days revolves, in part, around selling women's health imaging modalities such as mammography equipment and biopsy tables. These sales, of course, support my personal bottom line, but I continually remind myself that I sell MORE than just products that comprise my paycheck. . . These products save lives.
A year ago, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer, which was very scary for our entire family. The diagnosis came as a huge shock to her. The lump in her breast was found during a digital mammo scan just one day after a regular gynecological appointment turned up nothing. This is a perfect example of why GYN professionals recommend both a doctoral consultation AND an annual mammogram.
After the presence of the lump was confirmed by the mammogram, a biopsy was performed with a dedicated biopsy table and the tissue analysis confirmed that the lump was cancerous and would need to be removed. Fortunately, this detection came early and the cancer was localized to the breast only.
Over the next several months she saw her surgeon five times to prep for the lumpectomy, undergo the procedure, and to follow up post-op. At the fifth visit, the doctor confirmed that the lump was completely gone and that no others were currently present. This was a relief, but only the precursor to a lengthy recovery.
Between the surgery and Christmas, my mother-in-law drove 165 miles a day roundtrip to receive thirty-three radiation treatments. The treatments sapped her energy and her appetite. Those months were exhausting. One of the worst side effects was the radiation’s effect on her palate. Everything tasted terrible, which didn’t help her already diminished appetite.
In spite of the difficulties of her recovery, I'm excited to report that she is now in remission and doing very well. Her energy level has bounced back and food is starting to taste good again (too late for Christmas, unfortunately). There will still be medications and follow-up visits aplenty over the next few years, but because of the early detection made possible through digital mammography and dedicated biopsy, her care providers were able to administer a successful treatment plan in time to prevent the spread of the disease.
This early detection and treatment may extend her life by 10, 20, or even 25 years and allow her to spend quality years with her husband, serve in her church, and watch their grandkids grow up. Seeing a life lengthened because of early detection of breast cancer, as my mother-in law’s was, has inspired me to make sure that every refurbished mammography system that goes out the door at Block Imaging is checked, tested, and calibrated to ensure it is operating within OEM specification. In doing so, I can take greater satisfaction in my job, knowing that I am indirectly enhancing the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of women throughout the world and, by extension, the friends and family that love them.
All of us in this industry: manufacturers, dealers, engineers, and operators play a part in this end result. It can be easy to forget in the midst of all the rigors of running a business, but without us working behind the scenes, the doctors on the frontlines would lack the visibility they need to find and correct the problems that threaten lives every day.
Women's health digital mammography providers: YOU MATTER
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