News From fort Sanders Regional Medical Center

On any given day, you’ll find cancer patients and survivors who have found hope and help at Thompson Comprehensive Breast Center. One such woman is there every day the doors are open. “There’s so much good here, so much healing and loving,” Sue Miller says, “and I found that out, firsthand.”

Miller works in patient registration at the Knoxville center, and her breast cancer was discovered after a screening mammogram and biopsy. It came as a surprise.

“I was just in shock. It was the furthest thing from my mind,” Miller says. “They caught it early, and it was very, very small.”

Thompson’s certified technologists perform more than 13,000 mammograms each year using the latest in digital technology, including digital 3D mammography (tomosynthesis), which allows the radiologist to better detect smaller cancers – even within dense breast tissue.

“It’s a newer technology and not necessary for all women. It is especially helpful for women with dense breasts,” says surgical oncologist and Thompson Cancer Network Medical Director Troy Kimsey, MD, of Premier Surgical. “It allows a more detailed look at the breast tissue.”

Dr. Troy Kimsey, Surgical Oncologist

For Miller, cancer meant a change in perspective. She used to feel especially sympathetic toward cancer patients who were younger mothers, and now she’s able to extend empathy to a broader circle of women who need that support. “Breast cancer affects everyone pretty much the same,” Miller says. “The women who come in here, they all need that warmth, they need the friendliness, they need to know they’re cared for, and I like doing that.”

While whole breast radiation usually takes four to six weeks, partial breast radiation takes only five days. Dr. Kimsey stresses that Miller wouldn’t have been a candidate for this type of treatment had her cancer not been detected in such early stages.“It can’t be emphasized enough that screening mammograms are what allows us to detect clinically undetectable disease, and that puts us in a better position in terms of treatment and outcomes.”

For more information click here to visit Premier Surgical’s Breast Cancer Surgery webpage.