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Educating Yourself About Early Stage Breast Cancer

Published on March 9, 2011

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62-year-old Mary Clingman, a labor and delivery nurse from Maple Valley, Washington had an intuition she would never develop breast cancer. So she wasn’t careful to get yearly mammograms. After a four year lapse a mammogram showed early stage breast cancer. She was terrified and immediately wanted both breasts removed. But a team of doctors at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, Washington, a network member of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, patiently educated her as to the benefit of a more conservative option, lumpectomy followed by radiation and some reconstruction. In this Patient Power program Mary tells her story and we hear from a key member of her team, breast surgeon Dr. Kristi Harrington. Dr. Harrington explains the importance of a woman taking the time to make an educated decision.

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  • Breast Cancer
  • Plastic Surgery


Andrew Schorr:

Hello.  Welcome to Patient Power brought to you by Overlake Hospital Medical Center, a network member of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.  I'm Andrew Schorr. 


Well, imagine if you go for a mammogram, and imagine maybe you hadn't been in the last three or four years, and you think??you're pretty confident.  Your intuition tells you, no, it's just going to be normal, but what if it isn't.  And what if you've lost some friend to breast cancer?  Pretty terrifying.  Well, we're going to meet someone who faced that situation but worked with the team at Overlake Hospital Medical Center to make in the end a sound decision for her, and she feels really good about it.  And we're going to learn about of course the importance of early detection, importance of educating yourself and then what are the treatment options today.  So let's go. 


First, let's meet Mary Clingman.  Mary is from Maple Valley, Washington, outside Seattle.  She's actually a healthcare professional herself for 30 years or so.  She's been a labor and delivery nurse, and actually she works at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in labor and delivery.  And she is 62. 


Mary, I'm right, you had skipped some years of mammography, right? 

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