“Mom, how are your boobs?”

“Mom, when’s your next mammogram?”

“Mom, what’s this lump on my chest?”

Those are common questions around my house.  And when I say common, I mean like every day.  I guess that’s the backlash from having elementary age children lose their beloved grandmother to breast cancer.  At age 8 and 6, my kids were old enough to understand my mom died of breast cancer, but not old enough to understand that I’m not going to die of breast cancer… at least not any time soon.  So conversations started about mammograms and self breast exams and, lately, dense breast tissue.  I’m sad because my kids are too young to even know what a mammogram is… certainly too young to literally have it marked on their calendar when I get mine.  But they do.  That’s our reality.  And today was the day.









I went to the Renown Breast Center because they also offer SonoCine.  This is an adjunct screening approved by the FDA to help see cancer sooner, especially in women with dense breast tissue.  That would be me.









SonoCine is basically a movie of your breast tissue.  A wand glides over your breast a couple of times and the computer makes it into a streaming video.

This technology uses ultrasound, so there’s no radiation exposure.  Unlike mammography, cancers show up like dark spots up against the white background of dense tissue.  This is easier for the radiologist to see compared to mammography where dense tissue and tumors both show up white.  It’s often referred to as looking for a snowball in a snowstorm.

This is my radiologist.  Dr. Susan Ward.

Dr. Susan Ward reading my Sono Cine

She was nice enough to let me barge in while reading my reports!  Yes, I’m that impatient.  She didn’t finish completely looking at them but she didn’t see any problem areas while I was there.  Phew!

There’s no pain nor compression with SonoCine.  It takes just a few minutes to get done.  At this point, it’s not covered by insurance.  Regular cost is $195.  Renown is running a special if you book in June for $150.  To me, it’s like insurance.  It gives me a little more peace of mind that I’m doing everything in my power to make sure I don’t have breast cancer.  And if I do, I’m catching it as early as possible.

And since SonoCine is considered an adjunct screening, I still walked down the hall and got my annual mammogram.

Getting a Mammogram

Along with monthly self breast exams, I really believe I’m doing all I can to stay on top of my breast health.  So the next time my kids say, “Mom, do you have breast cancer?” I can honestly look them in the eye and say “No.”


About Wendy D

I was born in San Francisco and ended up marrying a rancher in Reno, Nevada. I have a big city job anchoring the 5 o’clock news but come home to the country where my husband’s family has ranched for 5 generations.


  1. sharron adams says:

    Good for you Wendy for educating people about breast cancer,especially dense breast tissue. I am 72 and didn’t like it a yr ago when my Dr. said something regarding older women and dense breasts.and didn’t recommend that I have the test that you had. Now I am wondering if I should get the other test besides the mammogram. when I was younger I had dense breast tissue. anyway, I don’t think it should matter what age a women is regarding this. thanks Wendy for all that you have done to help with breast cancer awareness.!

  2. pharm says:

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