October 1, 2018

How a 3D Mammogram Can Change Your Life

Judy, a resident of the Tri-Cities area, was given the news that most hope to never hear. She went in for her annual mammogram at Holston Medical Group’s (HMG) Outpatient Diagnostic Center at Sapling Grove in Bristol, Tennessee. With a family history of breast cancer, Judy was diligent about having her annual exams and screenings.

In 2016, when she arrived for her normal, yearly checkup, she expected another normal check-up. She had been getting mammograms since her 20s and everything had always been normal. However, this screening was different and within 15 minutes they found a lump.

Judy getting an annual mammogram

To make sure they were not seeing a distortion in the imaging, they took a few more images and ran some additional tests before confirming that Judy did in fact have cancer.

The news was devastating to Judy who had lost her mother to breast cancer. However, Judy did not want to dwell on the potential outcome that her mother had faced. Instead she put her faith in the staff at HMG to make sure that she wouldn’t leave her family under the same circumstances. “They saw me thru it to the very end,” said Judy. “We worked quickly to put a treatment plan in place and my treatments started just days later. We caught it early.”

For six and a half weeks, Judy went through 33 treatments of radiation. When the doctors checked her again after the 33 treatments, they were able to deliver great news to Judy. “I felt relieved and like I could get on with my life. It was an amazing feeling,” said Judy. Within a few short weeks, Judy had fought the cancer, got though the rigorous treatment plan, and was finally cancer free.

Judy & Family

Early detection saved Judy’s life. Without her diligence with her annual checkups and mammograms, the cancer may not have been caught early and Judy’s journey may have been much more difficult, prolonged, and might have not ended with Judy as a breast cancer survivor.

Judy spoke about her mother, stating “my mother’s death from breast cancer could have been prevented if she had her annual mammograms. She might still be here with us today.” Going through that experience with her mother was the driving force for why Judy is a big believer in annual mammograms.

Judy's mom

When speaking to Judy about her life now after cancer, she is happy that she has won the battle and can enjoy watching her seven grandchildren grow up. “My experience makes me want to get out and tell everyone to get their annual mammogram,” Judy said, “it takes 15 minutes of your life to save the rest of your life.”

The American Cancer society (ACS) recommends women who have an average risk of breast cancer receive mammograms yearly from ages 45 to 54 and every other year after the age of 55. They should have the option of receiving a mammogram each year at the age of 40, the ACS says. Women with a high risk for breast cancer, such as those who have a family history of breast cancer, should receive a mammogram and an MRI yearly from the age of 30.

The Genius™ exam provides better, earlier breast cancer detection compared to 2D alone. Greater accuracy means better breast cancer detection and a reduced chance of additional screenings. The Genius exam is proven to:

  • Provide better, earlier breast cancer detection
  • Reduce unnecessary callbacks by up to 40%
  • Find on average, 20-65% more invasive cancers than conventional mammography alone

More about 3D Mammography

“I’ve been a believer in mammograms ever since my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and I know mammograms are something women should get every year,” said Judy. “It’s scary when you hear the word ‘cancer,’ but you know what? The team at Holston Medical Group saw me through it to the end. I’m fine now, and I’m always so glad that I did go for that mammogram.”

HMG works diligently to deliver breast imaging services with skill and compassion, focusing on each patients’ unique needs and situation. Having access to advanced 3D Mammography scans, helps our team at HMG give specialized care. In addition, the availability of mammography services in an outpatient setting close to home helps reduce cost for patients and makes annual visits easy and convenient.

Discuss your risk with your doctor and be sure to schedule your mammogram today.


240 Medical Park Blvd.
Suite 1100
Bristol, TN 37620

Monday-Friday – 8am-5pm


2033 Meadowview Lane
Suite 100
Kingsport, TN 37660

Monday-Friday – 8am-5pm