Sherry's Story

Sherry Saltsman at work

Think Fast for Breast Care

Fast Breast MRI can catch three times as many cancers of the breast.

Breast cancer is largely curable when caught early, before it spreads. So Sherry Saltsman took her primary care physician’s advice when her mammogram was negative, but a more detailed check recommended for dense breasts was advised.

“My doctor told me about the new Fast Breast MRI, and I just had a feeling I should go, for reassurance,” said the Ravenna woman, 57, who never misses her annual mammogram and implicitly trusts her family doctor, Sarah Slater Lang, MD, at UH Streetsboro Health Center. “I trust her. They’re experts.”

The experts were right. Fast Breast MRI is a self-pay supplemental screening for women with dense breast tissue, which is approximately 40 percent of women.

This 10-minute test caught Sherry’s cancer.

Choose a Leader in Breast Care

UH has been the Northeast Ohio leader in breast health. UH was the first hospital in the region to offer tomosynthesis, a 3-D mammogram that allows radiologists to see the breast from more angles with greater specificity. In January 2018, UH unveiled Fast Breast MRI, a supplemental screening for women with intermediate risk and dense breast tissue.

Fast Breast MRI can catch three times as many cancers of the breast, says Donna Plecha, MD, Director of Breast Imaging at UH Cleveland Medical Center.

“If we can find something that hasn’t metastasized or gone to the lymph nodes, we probably have about a 98 percent chance of a five-year survival rate or a cure,” Dr. Plecha says. “Being proactive at finding things that are much smaller at an earlier stage give us a much better chance of curing that patient.”

Sherry remembers seeing this story on NewsChannel 5 and circulating it widely among friends. If you’re told you have dense breasts, through a follow-up letter from Radiology or directly by your physician, don’t miss this opportunity for a more detailed check.

The MRI detected cancer in Sherry’s breast. A small tumor at 1.4 centimeters, it was fortunately Stage 1.

Early Detection is Critical

Sherry Saltsman“Fast Breast MRI is a relatively new technique designed to find breast cancer early. Compared with regular mammograms or 3D mammograms, Fast Breast MRI is more likely to detect cancer, especially more aggressive breast cancers,” says breast surgeon Lisa Rock, MD, who performed a lumpectomy and removed a lymph node the day after Sherry’s 56th birthday. “Mammograms miss roughly 15 percent of breast cancers and are less accurate in women with dense breasts. The Fast Breast MRI is a low-cost, 10 minute, self-pay examination that scientific studies have shown to be effective in finding invasive breast cancers. It is ideal for women with dense breast tissue who desire additional breast cancer screening.”

Sherry underwent 20 radiation therapy treatments and skipped down the hall to ring the bell signaling completion of cancer treatment.

“They saved my life, I truly believe,” Sherry says. “I really feel strongly about Fast Breast MRI.

“I love UH. I really would not go anywhere else.”

Call 216-844-BRST to schedule a mammogram at UH and learn about additional screening options for dense breast tissue.