When Julie Alvarez found out she needed surgery for a ruptured disk in her back, she saw her physician for a routine physical in advance of the procedure.
Dr. Renwick and Sutter Health’s electronic health record saved my life.
Alvarez scheduled an appointment with Barbara Renwick, M.D., of Sutter Medical Foundation. Within a week, Dr. Renwick had ordered a series of tests, including blood work and a chest X-ray. While ordering the tests through Sutter Health's electronic health record (EHR), a special alert also informed Dr. Renwick that Alvarez was due for her first mammogram.
"I wasn't expecting to get a mammogram, but because I just turned 40, I thought it would be great to get all of the tests done at one time, in one location," Alvarez says. "I was very focused on preparing for my back surgery, until I had my mammogram."
"The technician kept taking pictures," Alvarez says. "Breast cancer doesn't run in my family, at least not in the last four generations, so I thought there's no way something could be wrong. But I knew something was wrong by the time I left."
A biopsy later confirmed that Alvarez had stage 1 breast cancer. "I immediately changed my focus from having back surgery to becoming a breast cancer survivor," she says.
Today, after undergoing a series of operations and chemotherapy, Alvarez is cancer-free. She also had back surgery and is on the road to recovery.
"Dr. Renwick and Sutter Health's electronic health record saved my life," she says. "If I had waited any longer to get a mammogram, then the diagnosis could have been much different."