Avera Medical Minute: Using breast screening technology for biopsies

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 10:34 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - When Shannon Haugen’s breast health journey began just before her 41st birthday she turned to Facebook to keep her inner circle updated.

As she posted more updates, that circle grew quite a bit.

“I have this fun little group of like 200 women who kind of follow me on Facebook, and they followed every little journey,” said Haugen.

Through video updates, sometimes recorded from her car in the Avera parking lot, she dished out the details of her appointments and medical procedures.

The updates soon turned more into educating about her journey and advocating for mammograms.

“I’m here to educate and I want you guys to know mammograms are important, they’re so important,” said Haugen.

Haugen has had to undergo several mammograms, and biopsies for some areas in her breast that doctors found concerning.

They say she’s at higher risk for breast cancer, and new technology is giving her the most advanced tools to stay on top of her health.

“So I had a new procedure done that they just started doing this week here at Avera,” she said.

Haugen was one of the first Avera patients to undergo a CESM biopsy.

“So the advantage of doing this CESM biopsy is we can biopsy these legions that we would otherwise not be able to see,” said Dr. Daniel Sova, a Radiologist w/Avera Medical Group.

“In Shannon’s case, we identified an area that we weren’t able to see clearly under ultrasound or under mammogram so she was a great candidate,” said Rhonda Engebretson, Quality Manager of the Avera Breast Center.

Haugen says the new procedure was more manageable and quicker than any of the biopsies she had in the past.

And she of course updated her circle on her experience.

“They said I was a rockstar but I don’t know about that because I kind of let some tears flow a little. Not that it hurt or anything, yeah it did hurt a little bit, but not terrible,” said Haugen on a Facebook video.

Doctors say this new technology will be a game changer as it is quicker, more precise, and more affordable for patients.

“I think in the initial diagnosis of these cancers this is going to become the standard of care and we are pretty fortunate at Avera to be one of the first people to be able to offer this to the community and were one of the first few in the country to be doing this,” said Dr. Sova.

Doctors say this tech gives them the opportunity to catch breast cancer earlier before it has the chance to metastasize.

That gives patients like Haugen peace of mind that they are getting the best, most aggressive care possible.

More information can be found at www.Avera.org/MedicalMinute

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