To find a physician or for questions   903-596-DOCS

Breast Care

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Join us in spreading awareness across our community!

One in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. Breast cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the breast tissue. There are several different kinds of breast cancer, but the most common are invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma. 

The key is early detection. 

The best way to detect breast cancer early is with a mammogram. Screening guidelines recommend women ages 35-40 to get their mammogram and women over 40 to get one annually. The UT Health East Texas HOPE Breast Care Center offers mammograms across East Texas. See below for more details. 

Social Media

Follow us on Facebook as we spread awareness of breast cancer, symptoms to look for and how it affects your overall life. 

Key Events

Watch the recording: Breast Cancer Prevention and Screening with Dr. Klouda

A live chat with Dr. Michael Klouda, board-certified diagnostic radiologist at the UT Health East Texas HOPE Breast Care Center in Tyler where we discuss breast cancer screenings and prevention.

Virtual Education Seminar with Dr. Ashton - Dense Breast Tissue.

Join us for a FREE virtual presentation to learn about dense breast tissue with Brandon Ashton, MD, board-certified diagnostic radiologist who specializes in breast imaging at the UT Health East Texas Breast Care Center. Watch now..

 

UT Health East Texas HOPE Breast Care Center

UT Health East Texas offers breast care centers throughout the region to make it easy for you to get your mammogram. Mammograms and other services are offered in Tyler, North Campus Tyler, Athens, Henderson, or Jacksonville. We also have mammography services at several of our clinics, UT Health East Texas Physicians on Patriot Drive in Tyler, UT Health East Texas Physicians on South Broadway in Tyler and UT Health East Texas Physicians Cedar Creek Lake in Gun Barrel City.

We also offer a mobile mammography unit that travels to many other communities throughout East Texas. Scroll down to see our full mobile mammography calendar to see when we'll be in your community.  

We have highly skilled physicians to provide the quality care you deserve at all of our locations. Call 866-333-3862 and press 3 and find the closest location for you. For services at UT Health North Campus Tyler, call 903-877-8793.

 

The UT Health East Texas HOPE Breast Care Centers offer a wide range of services including

The latest full-field digital mammography equipment

Digital mammography is the best tool for early detection. We offer digital and 3-D mammography, offering sharper images than film and no wait time for film to be developed. The computer enhancements help detect signs of early cancer, as well as abnormalities in dense breast tissue.

Digital mobile mammography unit

The mobile mammography unit offers breast tomosynthesis, also called 3-D mammogrpahy and digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), an advnaced form of breast imaging which uses a low-dose X-ray system and computer reconstructions to create three-dimensional images of the breasts. Breast tomosynthesis aids in the early detection and diagnosis of breast tissue. 

R2 ImageChecker computer-aided detection system

The ImageChecker scans mammogram films and marks areas of calcification, distortion and small masses, producing a video display which clearly indicates potential abnormalities requiring further study. Dr. Michael Klouda, board-certified diagnostic radiologist says early breast cancer can be difficult to detect. "It's like finding grains of salt on a cotton ball. The ImageChecker will increase our detection rate of invasive cancers."

Stereotactic breast biopsy

This minimally invasive procedure requires only a quarter-inch-long incision, which no stitches needed. Using an ultrasound probe or an X-ray, the doctor gently vacuums out suspect tissue for examination. Tissue samples collected using this process are just as reliable as open surgical biopsies and three times more accurate than core needle biopsies in the diagnosis of conditions associated with early breast cancer. 

Breast ultrasound

An ultrasound of the breast is used to confirm the presence or absence of a mass in women who have dense breast tissue, which could make the mass difficult to see. Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to scan the tissue of the breast. Radiologists sometimes use this painless method to distinguish fluid-filled cysts from solid masses. 

Breast MRI

Magnetic resonance breast imaging is a supplemental tool to help us diagnose breast cancer. It is often used to investigate breast problems first detected by mammography or other imaging exams. Younger women at high risk of breast cancer also may benefit from this screening. MRI uses powerful magnetic fields and radio waves to create images of the breast. 

Benefits include the following:

  • Can image breast implants and look for leaks or ruptures
  • Used effectively in dense breasts
  • Can help determine what type of surgery is needed, such as lumpectomy or mastectomy
  • May detect breast cancer recurrences and residual tumors after lumpectomy
  • Can locate primary tumor where cancer has spread to the lymph nodes
  • Can spot small abnormalities that are not apparent on mammography
  • May be useful in screening women at high risk for breast cancer

Genetic testing

Genetic testing can help determine if you're at increased risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer due to your family history.

Bone density tests

During this simple test, the patient lies on a padded table while the unit scans the body. No injection or invasive procedure is involved. The patient remains fully clothed. The test can detect osteoporosis and provides your doctor with information regarding your bone strength. 

Mobile Mammography Unit – October schedule
Dates and locations are subject to change. To verify, contact scheduling at 1-866-333-3862 and press 3. 

 

Day of Week

Day of Month

Time

Location

Thurs

1

9 a.m - 2:30 p.m.

UT Health Pittsburg

Fri

2

9 a.m - 2:30 p.m.

UT Health Quitman

 

 

 

 

Mon

5

9 a.m - 2 p.m.

UT Health Carthage

Tues

6

9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Brookshire's in Canton

Wed

7

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Wood County City Hall

Thurs

8

8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Brookshire's in Chandler

Fri

9

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Tyler City Hall

 

 

 

 

Mon

12

9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Walmart in Gun Barrel City

Tues

13

9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

UT Health Quitman

Wed

14

9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

UT Health East Texas Physicians in Overton

Thurs

15

9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Southside Bank (1201 S. Beckham Ave., Tyler)

Fri

16

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Southside Bank (1201 S. Beckham Ave., Tyler)

 

 

 

 

Mon

19

 

CLOSED

Tues

21

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Vulcraft Grapeland (175 CR 2345, Grapeland, TX 75844)

Wed

21

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Brookeshire's in Mineola

Thurs

22

9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

UT Health Carthage

Fri

23

9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

UT Health Pittsburg

Sat

24

9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m./p>

Tyler Biker Church (11408 Hwy 64 West, Tyler)

Mon

26

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Lapoynor ISD

Tues

27

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

UT Health East Texas Physicians in Lindale

Wed

28

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

UT Health East Texas Physicians in Flint/Lake Palestine

Thurs

29

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Andrews Center

Fri

30

9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Sulphur Springs Elementary

Sat

31

9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

217 Terry St., Pittsburg

Journey of a Survivor - Meri Mullicane

In March 2019, Meri Mullicane got the news that her sister, Maeschelle, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Meri sent her a pink bear with a note that said, “I know I don’t understand your journey, but everybody needs something to cry on.” Unfortunately, Meri would soon understand her sister’s journey all too well.

Meri went in for her annual mammogram in May, which showed no abnormality. However, because Meri had dense breast tissue, it was recommended that she come back for a screening ultrasound. Dr. Michael Klouda, board-certified diagnostic radiologist at the UT Health Tyler Breast Care Center, conducted her ultrasound and found a suspicious spot.

“Dr. Klouda would always kid with me through the whole thing, and then it stopped,” Meri said. She knew something wasn’t right. “He said to come see him afterwards and that he found a spot that looks suspicious.”

The next step was a biopsy and two days later she got the news. Meri was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Her result came back grade one invasive ductal carcinoma,” Dr. Klouda said.

While this is the most common type of breast cancer, it wasn’t easy to find.

“Meri’s cancer was so small it could not be felt, and only with careful ultrasound scanning could it be seen,” said Dr. Brandon Ashton, a board-certified diagnostic radiologist at the UT Health Tyler Breast Care Center.

The doctors at UT Health East Texas were thorough in determining Meri’s treatment.

“Once we do the diagnosis and find a cancer, then we present the case at a conference to anywhere from 15-20 doctors who diagnose and treat cancer, including radiologists, pathologists, surgeons, radiation therapists, oncologists and geneticists,” Dr. Klouda said. “They will agree on an appropriate treatment before any surgery is done. That way, the patient only goes to the operating room one time. When it’s a small tumor and we catch it early, through screening, they can save the breast and increase the chances of survival.”

Shortly after getting the news, a familiar pink bear arrived in Meri’s mail with a card that said, “Dear Meri, I think you need me more right now than Maeschelle does, so I’m going to come spend some time with you.”

Meri had a lumpectomy on Aug. 30, successfully removing the entire tumor.

Though Meri’s tumor was small, her journey was not easy.

“I remember walking into the cancer center for the first time,” Meri said. “It was frightening. There was something about it, the not knowing. I was scared every step of the way. I used to tell the radiology techs that this is the roller coaster I did not buy a ticket for.”

After surgery, Meri received radiation every day for six weeks to treat the rest of the breast tissue where other cancer cells may have lurked.

“The hardest part is the clicking and buzzing sound of the machine as it goes around you,” Meri said. “My first round took 78 seconds. The second took 23 seconds. I counted every day. That’s how I got through it.”

Many called Meri brave, but she didn’t feel like it was bravery.

“You have people tell you all the time that you’re so brave, but you’re not,” Meri said. “You covet life, and when you covet life, you push through. That whole brave thing, it’s really not bravery. Nobody gave me an option. You just want to live. Sometimes I feel like other women have gone through so much more. I almost feel guilty because there are women who haven’t survived. There are women who didn’t catch it early, but we are all warriors. Our emotions are all the same. We covet life and we want to live. You’re a warrior by default.”

Though the journey was scary, Meri was not alone. She had a strong community around her that continually showed her love and support.

“I’ve had so much support from my families,” Meri said. “My husband is a Tyler firefighter and they’re always incredibly supportive. Our Brook Hill parent association sold breast cancer tattoos and donated the money to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in my name. I showed up to school one day in October and they came in and said they had a pink shirt for me and I said, ‘OK, well I’ll wear that to school tomorrow.’ But when I got to school the next day, all the kids had the shirt. One of the parents found out I had breast cancer, so they donated pink shirts to all the students in our school. It’s very humbling.”

Meri’s situation really was a best case scenario.

“She represents the whole goal of breast imaging — find breast cancer at its smallest size and earliest stage, because it gives the patient the most options for treatment and the best chance for survival,” Dr. Ashton said.

Meri’s last round of treatment was an emotional day.

“I’ll never forget walking out of the HOPE Cancer Center when I finished radiation,” Meri said. “I was very happy to be done. I totally just lost it. I thought, ‘I made it. I survived it.’”

In February, Meri went in for her six-month scans and everything looked clear. Now, Meri is preparing to send the little pink bear on another journey, back home to her sister.

“We were able to catch my breast cancer early, but had I not gotten the ultrasound, this could be a whole different story,” Meri said. “There are so many women that don’t move forward with that ultrasound. But you need to move forward. I was fine. I wouldn’t have known.”

 

One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Early detection is key to survival. To schedule your mammogram, call 903-531-8890 and press 3, or visit UTHealthEastTexas.com/services/breast-care for more information.

The safety of our patients and caregivers is our top priority. All of our facilities are following CDC guidelines, including screening everyone before entry, mandatory masking and disinfecting procedures.

This story was featured in the Tribute to Courage section of the April/May TYLER TODAY issue.

 

More information about Breast Care is available at these locations:

Providers For Breast Care

Brandon Ashton, MD
Radiology, Breast Health

Michael J. Klouda, MD
Radiology, Breast Health

Charles D. Wells Jr., MD
Radiology, Breast Health