Kaiser Permanente’s Focus on Prevention Helped Detect Geborah Goldberger’s Early Stage Breast Cancer
Geborah Goldberger, PhD, is family therapist, a mom of 10 and a Medicare member at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. And thanks to Kaiser Permanente’s persistence and its focus on prevention through regular screenings, Geborah is a breast cancer survivor.
In the process of signing up for Kaiser Permanente, Geborah was asked to complete a series of screenings, and she complied – mostly. Upon reviewing her file, a nurse practitioner noticed she had completed all but her mammogram.
She came up with many excuses: breast cancer doesn’t run in the family, she didn’t fit the profile, she doesn’t need it, and so on.
“Women certainly don’t jump at the chance to have a mammogram!” she chuckled.
Geborah began receiving phone calls and letters reminding her to complete her mammogram.
One day had an epiphany: “I wasn’t letting them do their jobs,” she realized. ”The doctors and the department – their job is similar to my job, to be able to detect.”
When she finally decided to complete her mammogram, it detected something suspicious. Later, an ultrasound confirmed that she had early stage cancer.
Luckily, her cancer had been caught when it was still very small. “About as small as we can detect on the imaging,” said Jan Takasugi, MD, general surgeon at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center. And because it was caught so early, it was treatable with five days of partial breast radiation.
In hindsight, Geborah realizes she did the right thing by getting her screening, and credits Kaiser Permanente for pushing her in the right direction. “If I had maintained my stubborn stance, I’d have advancing cancer.”