Breast Cancer Survivor Champions Mobile Mammography for Rural Communities in Montana
For Tracy Wenger traveling to Billings for an annual screening mammogram isn’t too much trouble, but she jumped at an opportunity to use the St. Vincent Mobile Mammography coach when it was coming to her community in April 2022. Although she didn’t have it on her calendar yet, when she was informed by her primary care provider Brooke Yates that the mobile Mammography coach would be at the SCL Health Clinic in Absarokee she signed up for an appointment.
“I was happy I didn’t have to drive all the way to Billings for the screening,” shared Wegner. “It was speedy, I walked out in 5-7 minutes.” After the screening, Tracey was notified by the team at the St. Vincent Healthcare Breast Center that they had identified an area of concern. She came to the Breast Center for an additional screening ultrasound and the radiologist confirmed two areas of concern for biopsy. The biopsy revealed a unique diagnosis for Wegner, not only did they identify breast cancer, but two different types of breast cancer, one of which was a very rare form. “They told me that there was a .007 percent chance that a women would be diagnosed with these two forms of breast cancer.”
After discussing her treatment options with her care team, she underwent a double mastectomy in July. Because they caught the cancers at an early stage, Wegner didn’t need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatments that some women undergo for breast cancer treatments. Looking back at her diagnosis and treatment, Wegner often thinks of her 17-year-old daughter who helped support her through her journey. “She was with me at my appointment when the doctor said I was ‘cancer-free,” said Wegner.
Her journey has motivated Wegner to share her experience with other women about the importance of getting screened. Wegner was recognized and shared her story during the Nile Rodeo’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night on October 21 to raise funds to support the St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation's Eva Project to help women undergoing breast cancer treatment and to raise awareness about getting screened annually.