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Published on July 12, 2021

Her Family History Left Her Wondering When, Not If

Kris Taylor

Wenatchee resident Kris Taylor was no stranger to the ravages of breast cancer.

Her sister has fought the disease twice. Her mother and two of her aunts had also been diagnosed.

This family history left Kris wondering when, not if, she would face a similar diagnosis.

That prophecy came true, but thanks to the comprehensive cancer services offered at EvergreenHealth, Kris was able to catch her cancer in the earliest stages.

"I had been getting yearly mammograms ever since my sister was first diagnosed," Kris says. "Then when my mother was diagnosed, my brother-in-law urged me to get a breast MRI." Kris' brother-in-law is Dr. Eric Taylor, director of EvergreenHealth's Radiation Oncology department.

"New screening guidelines recommend breast MRIs in addition to mammograms for women at increased risk of developing breast cancer," Dr. Taylor explains. "Given Kris' family history, I felt she would be a prime candidate for a breast MRI.

New Diagnostic Tool

The MRI is a helpful diagnostic tool for certain women at increased risk, producing 3,000 images in one sitting.

These images are then transferred to an easily readable picture on a computer screen.

While the MRI is an incredible tool, the screening mammogram is still the gold standard and is an important diagnostic tool in detecting breast cancer.

At her brother-in-law's persistent urging, Kris Taylor had an MRI at EvergreenHealth. It picked up what her most recent mammogram had not – a moderately aggressive ductal cancer that had also spread to her lymph node.

The diagnosis was a blow – but Kris was grateful for what happened next.

"Five minutes after getting the MRI results, I met with a surgeon," she recalls. "EvergreenHealth's protocol seemed to be ‘let's set a plan; let's get moving right away.'

It was so well coordinated and happened so fluidly. I never felt pressured; I just felt like we were moving forward."

Kris opted for a lumpectomy, which was performed at EvergreenHealth.

EvergreenHealth's Tumor Board, which advises on all cancer cases at the hospital, recommended chemotherapy and collaborated with her local hospital in Wenatchee on the regimen, which was followed by radiation therapy and anti-estrogen drugs.

"I Plan To Be An Advocate"

Dr. Taylor urges all women to do a monthly breast self-exam, have an annual breast exam by their physician and get that annual mammogram.

And some women, like Kris Taylor, may need the added diagnostic punch of the MRI.

"I was fortunate that Eric had knowledge of the MRI, and that EvergreenHealth could provide it," Kris explains, adding, "We don't have MRI testing in my community, and I want to change that. I plan to be an advocate for bringing this kind of advanced testing to rural areas."

Eric Taylor Meet the Expert

Eric Taylor, MD

Dr. Eric Taylor is a nationally recognized, board certified radiation oncologist with more than 30 years of experience in cancer care. A cancer survivor himself, Dr. Taylor understands the impact a cancer diagnosis has on patients' lives.

Read Eric Taylor's full profile

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