Breast Cancer Awareness

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Tucson breast cancer ultrasound tech volunteers to help cancer patients cope

Screening room is therapeutic space for patients
Posted at 6:33 AM, Oct 14, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz (KGUN) — Breast cancer ultrasound technician Rachael Brogden works at Arizona Community Physicians in Tucson and says she sees what breast cancer patients go through every single day. Brogden's ultrasound room is one of the first stops for patients see before a diagnosis. The healthcare worker says that’s why she does everything she can to help put their minds at ease while they receive medical services in her office.

"When I started to do the specialty of breast ultrasound, I wanted to do something else I wanted to give more of my time into something more than scanning. We’re seeing it more and more people with no family history or breast cancer coming in being diagnosed because the advancements in technology are so good. We’re catching things very early, very soon. The two biggest risk factors are just being a female and aging,” Brogden said.

Brogden’s exposure to those emotional moments in patient’s lives is exactly why she makes it a point to connect with those patients as much as possible.

"I personally try to keep my room as relaxing and peaceful I have aroma therapy. Everyone walks in very anxious and nervous. It’s the unknown they don’t know they’ve been called back we see something, but they don't know what’s going on,” Brogden said.

Brogden has also been a part of Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer walks in Wichita Falls, Texas and Las Vegas over the years and now she’s helping and volunteering her time at the American Cancer Society in Tucson. The wife and mother of two boys also has a history of breast cancer in her family.

"It’s very hard to not take it personal, like when you see an older woman on your table, and you see something bad come up on a scan. You automatically think of your grandma, mother your aunt. You take it very personal and it's hard to keep that poker face, but you encourage them and let them know there are treatments out there,” Brogden said.

According to the American Cancer Society, over 284,000 new breast cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed this year alone and that includes both men and women. There are also more than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.

"They’re living proof that early detection or treatment is very successful if you stick through it and to have those people around you is very encouraging,” Brogden said.

Rachael says she will continue her work to help others get through the process every step of the way.

"It’s very important to stay up and current on your screening mammograms because when we catch things really early it can be within a year span. When people are skipping these in one or two-years things can progress,” Brogden said.