Mammography technologist detects her mother’s breast cancer

Oct 29, 2022, 9:12 PM | Updated: 9:16 pm

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — A Davis County woman’s breast cancer was detected by a mammogram her daughter conducted.

Marilyn Badham said she stays on top of scheduling her annual screening, especially because her daughter, Jenny Santiago, is a mammography technologist.

“I do have my daughter give them. We actually have fun,” Badham said. “I try to schedule the last appointment, so we have dinner after.”

Santiago, who works at Lakeview Hospital, said she was initially nervous about conducting her mother’s mammograms.

“This is my mom!” she said. “We’ve always been very close, very tight, but it is, it’s kind of a different relationship. I’m confident in my skills, and I want to make sure she’s getting the best care, and I wanted to be able to provide that for her.”

A year and a half ago, the exam didn’t go the way the mother-daughter duo thought it would.

“My job’s not to diagnose, that’s the radiologist’s, the physician’s job, but we as technologists can definitely see changes,” Santiago said. “When I was doing my mom’s mammogram, there was a little area that looked different from the year before, which kind of caught my eye.”

Badham said even though her daughter didn’t say anything, she sensed something was wrong.

“I could just tell my daughter seemed to tighten up a little bit,” she said.

Doctors confirmed it was breast cancer. Badham immediately went into treatment and got a lumpectomy.

Her daughter was with her every step of the way.

“I was able to take a picture of the lumpectomy specimen to make sure that the cancer was all gone,” Santiago said.

Today, Badham is cancer-free. She and her daughter urge women to prioritize their health.

“So many women missed their mammogram due to the pandemic,” Santiago said. “I just want to say that early detection is key.”

Badham said she credits her timely mammogram with saving her life.

“You have that hanging over you that it may come back, but I feel so good about mine that it’s not going to because I caught it in time, and even if it did come back, I’m going every six months now for mammograms, so we’re going to catch it again,” Badham said.

Now, the mother and daughter are closer than ever, with a standing mammogram appointment always on their calendar.

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Mammography technologist detects her mother’s breast cancer