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UC Health breast cancer screening trial aims to personalize screenings

Doctors are looking for participants ages 45 to 74 across the Tri-State.
Breast Cancer Screening
Posted at 5:24 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-13 14:26:54-04

CINCINNATI — There is a new push to make sure breast cancer screenings are more inclusive for all women at the University of Cincinnati Breast Cancer Center.

This new screening trial compares 2D and 3D screening technologies to see which performs best and doctors are asking for more women to help.

"I noticed the lymph node has swollen to the size of a kiwi fruit. Oh wow. And when I felt that, I knew something's wrong. And it was just the grace of God that my mammogram was due," Debra Ocho said. She is participating in the breast cancer screening trial.

Following a routine mammogram in October 2019, Ocho was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"To me, I was just like, 'Oh my god, this is a sentence of death,' and I did not want to believe that, but I truly cried and cried and cried," Ocho said.

Last year, Ocho found out she was cancer free. Thursday, Ocho decided to participate in UC's breast cancer screening trial.

"Well, I first was hesitant. It was a last-minute thing and then I'm like, 'You know what?' Honestly it is about research and it is about breast cancer," Ocho said.

The primary goal of the screening trial is to determine whether tomography is superior to standard digital mammography in detection of life-threatening cancers.

"Perhaps 40% to 50% of the mammography units across the country have the capability to do 3D imaging,"Section Chief of Breast Imaging Radiology Dr. Lawrence Sobel said.

However, 3D imaging is more expensive. Women will receive either yearly or other-year screenings. Now, based on risk factors, some will receive 2D and some tomography or 3D.

"What we're trying to do is determine whether it's really necessary for everyone. Whether 2D imaging would be sufficient. That would be helpful for under-served and for areas that don't have as much 3D imaging," Sobel said.

The trial is for approximately five years.

"We currently have 770 or so women enrolled at UC and approximately 55,000 across the world," Sobel said.

Ocho offers these words to women everywhere: "I just really hope that all women, you know, really pay attention to their bodies and, you know, if you don't feel good, sometimes it's all kind of ways that breast cancer can ... show up."

UC Health is still looking for healthy women ages 45 to 74 across the Tri-State to participate in this screening trial.

For more information on the study, call Holly Wilcox at 513-558-3883.