Patient Stories – Karen

“The first time I came I was totally impressed because the breast center treated me, not like a patient, but almost like a princess.”


Understand how financial assistance helped Karen get the care she needed…

In May of 2011, Karen came in for her routine mammogram. She had always been good about being on schedule for her mammograms because she has a history of breast cancer in her family. She says of her experience at the Carol Milgard Breast Center, “The first time I came, I was totally impressed because the breast center treated me, not like a patient, but almost like a princess.”

Diagnosis: An Early Stage of Breast Cancer
A day and a half later, she received a call from the breast center asking her to come back for additional imaging. “I immediately knew I was in trouble,” says Karen. “Given my family history, I was not really surprised when I ended up being diagnosed with breast cancer.”

Keeping Informed Every Step of the Way
That May, Karen had her mammogram, additional imaging, a breast biopsy and a breast MRI before receiving a diagnosis of DCIS or very early stage breast cancer. “Every step of the way, I was told exactly what the medical staff knew. When you are in any anxiety-prone situation, it is very, very helpful to know exactly where you stand. So, I am deeply appreciative of that.”

Financial Assistance Helped Get Her the Care She Needed
Another thing Karen appreciated was the compassionate care awarded to her from the Carol Milgard Breast Center. Her employer has a very high deductible health plan, so she knew she was facing a lot of out of pocket medical costs. “I am employed as a professional, so I have social worker income, which is not great, but is good basic income,” says Karen.

“When I applied (for financial aid), I explained some unique details in my own situation, such as being 62, still paying college tuition for a child, and having two family members with disability issues who are not my dependents, but I help out. The breast center told me that according to the regular income criteria, I did not qualify. But they did give me a one-time grant toward my diagnostic imaging costs.”

On The Road to Recovery
Karen is grateful to the breast center, and well on the road to recovery, as of June 2012. “Right now, I am cancer free. I was just here a few weeks ago for my mammogram. I have been cancer free for a year and I have a prognosis of a 90% chance that it will not come back.”

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