Buddy Check 3: A look at dense breast tissue at new Breast Center in Springfield

Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 7:42 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - You might expect a more clinical setting for a mammogram, ultrasound, or bone density test. At Farmer’s Park on Springfield’s southeast side, The Breast Center feels more like an upscale spa.

“We were kind of inspired by other places that have these and thought Springfield women deserve this and need it,” Radiologist Dr. Amanda Lackey says.

Lackey and her husband, Logan Lackey, are medical doctors who have specialized in diagnostic radiology in local hospital settings. Now they hope their private medical practice makes it even easier for people to troubleshoot breast cancer. According to Dr. Lackey, “we’re not trying to take over the world, but I think we can definitely fill gaps and get people in fast and help get all that rolling so that there’s not a wait for people to get their mammograms.”

Alissa Lacamp is a friend of Dr. Lackeys. But she was anxious to become her patient. She had just read Katie Couric’s recent essay, describing how she had dense breast tissue, then breast cancer.

Couric’s breast cancer was detected in an ultrasound six months after she should have had her routine mammogram. Alissa said Katie Couric’s experience was so relatable. Alissa says she missed her regular appointment for a mammogram in March, so she was six months behind too. Then she found out she shared Katie Couric’s challenge with dense breast tissue. That’s a condition that up to 50 percent of women have. They’re made aware of it on the results of every mammogram they receive.

Alissa said, “you get the piece of paper, and at the top of it, it says you have dense breasts.” Because Alissa was never in the intermediate risk category for breast cancer, she had never had the follow-up ultrasound. Now she’s getting one for her own peace of mind.

Because one-way cancer shows up is a mass, which is white on a mammogram. So it can hide in dense breast tissue, which is also white. But on an ultrasound, a cancerous mass appears dark, making it stand out more easily against the lighter background.

No cancer was detected on Alissa’s ultrasound. So she can enjoy a little peace of mind. And that’s what this new breast center wants to provide for every patient.

“A lot of breast imaging is waiting, have to wait to get your appointment, they call you back for any abnormality, you wait a week or two to get in for diagnostic screening, they see something, you have to wait for a biopsy,” said Dr. Lackey. “We’re condensing all of that waiting. We’re going to read your screening mammogram while you wait here. If there’s an abnormality, we can do your diagnostic right then and there. So we’re reducing the stress from waiting. If you get the correct studies done for your type of breast tissue, you leave with the peace of mind of knowing you’re really in the clear.”

Like other breast imaging centers at local hospitals, radiologists include a risk assessment system to recommend diagnostic ultrasounds and other medical tests.

For more information on the new Breast Center and Katie Couric’s essay on breast cancer, here are the links to those resources: https://katiecouric.com/news/katie-couric-has-breast-cancer/ and https://www.facebook.com/thebreastcenteroftheozarks

And remember to sign up for Buddy Check 3, so we can help each other find breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage.

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