Is Ultrasound a Better Breast Cancer Detector?

Published 09/25 2013 11:09AM

Updated 09/25 2013 11:33AM

This Saturday marks the 16th annual Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure. Twelve thousand breast cancer patients, survivors and family members are expected to converge on downtown Evansville.

And what's especially remarkable is each person has their own unique story.  People like Lory White, who owns Achieve Academy of Dance.

She's mastered tap, and tumbling.  Now at age 51, Lory White is dancing her toughest number yet.

"In a matter of seconds, your life changes completely."

In March, a typical mammogram told Lory she was cancer free.  But given her age and being described as having dense breast tissue, she wanted to know for sure and decided to have an ultrasound, a test typically  not covered by insurance.

"Thank Heaven I did it because that's when the ball started rolling.  That's when they detected something that looked suspicious.  If I would have not done that, next year my life would have been completely different from what it is this year.  I have a chance to live, so I'm thankful I pushed myself with that gut feeling to have the ultrasound."

Lory says it's now her mission to spread the importance of getting an ultrasound. That's what drove her to sign up for her first Race For the Cure.

"This year I'm gonna have to carry my box of klenex because it does hit so close to home now, it's so fresh with me, I'm not one that could say I survived a year yet, or I survived the five years or ten-year mark.  I'm still chalking up months."

Her race team, Glory For Lory, is more than 70 strong. From relatives to her family at Achieve Academy of Dance, a studio she's owned for more than 25 years.

"I have the best support system in the world."

They truly came through when breast cancer forced Lory to slow down.  Staff members finished competition costumes she had been making by hand. Dancers' families ran a meal train that spanned months. Enjoying those meals, though, was tough.  Lory lost her sense of taste, a common side effect of chemo.

Another side effect Lory didn't mind as much, losing her hair. Maintaining it was just too much of a pain, but she is certainly enjoying  its return.

"It's there!"

Life is now waltzing back to the craziness Lory oh so loves.  She hopes to soon resume teaching dance class, but since her case is more complicated, being tissue based, doctors told her the curtain won't close on cancer until 2023.

"That's okay, I'm gonna be there in ten years, so we'll celebrate in ten. I'd like to celebrate in five, but I'm celebrating right now, cause today is the day to celebrate. And tomorrow."

Lory plans to have reconstructive surgery shortly after Race For the Cure. She really wants to drive home the importance of those ultrasounds, Because a mammogram told her she was cancer-free. Lory thinks that's why breast cancer continues to be so deadly.

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