Bessie's Story

Bessie's Story

Bessie Kolva’s annual mammogram at Pullman Regional Hospital in 2017 changed her life.

“I have a history of breast cancer in my family,” says Bessie. “Because of that, I always made sure to make screening mammograms a priority.”

In 2017, a tumor was found at Pullman Regional Hospital during her annual screening mammogram. “It was a small, deep tumor. It wouldn’t have normally shown up or have been found if my physician only did an in-office breast examination,” recalls Bessie.

Mammograms at Pullman Regional Hospital use 3D breast tomosynthesis. During the 3D part of the exam, the x-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple breast images. Then a computer produces a 3D image of the breast tissue on one millimeter slices, providing greater visibility for the radiologist to see breast detail in a way never before possible. The radiologist can scroll through image slices of the entire breast like the pages of a book.

After her abnormal mammogram results, Bessie returned to Pullman Regional Hospital for an ultrasound. “The technologists kept me informed of what they were doing, so I felt comfortable and prepared.” Once her cancer was diagnosed, tumor markers were put in where the tumor was on her right side, as well as a benign marker on her left side.

“I urge women to make an annual screening mammogram part of their routine,” says Bessie. “The mammography experience at Pullman Regional Hospital is pleasant. You can tell everyone in the Imaging Department is competent, professional, and truly likes what they do.”

All women over the age of 40 are recommended to have an annual screening mammogram, no referral required. Talk with your primary care physician if you have a history of breast cancer in your family, have abnormal changes in your breast health, or have questions about your eligibility for a mammogram. Most health insurances cover the cost of annual screening mammograms; if you have questions about your coverage, contact your insurance provider to learn more. If it’s time for your annual screening mammogram, call the Pullman Regional Hospital Outpatient Registration at (500) 336-7446 to schedule.