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Idaho Press-Tribune • Sunday, October 7, 2012

Breast cancer awareness

Striding for a cure S Breast cancer survivor Sherri O’Larey plans 60-mile trek to support research WANT TO HELP? O’Larey has a goal of raising $3,000 for breast cancer research and community programs. Her other teammates in the Avengers Against Ta Ta Thieves are also striving to hit fundraising goals as they walk 60 miles as part of The Susan G. Komen 3-Day Nov. 9 – 11. You can help by visiting their team page at AvengersTeamPage.

INSIDE Idaho lags in breast cancer screenings...........................................2 Breast self exam.............................................................................2 Post-cancer treatment not easy.....................................................4 Kathy Ward talks the talk and walks the PINK walk.......................4 Radiation may up breast cancer risk in some women....................4 Boise company makes ‘Bosom Buddy’ breast forms.......................6 Breast cancer glossary....................................................................6 Local health care professionals weigh in on mammograms ���������7 Canyon County breast cancer care advances..................................8 Pink-a-palooza: Breast cancer products to support research ��������8

From left, Susan Maund, Margaret Hemry and Sherri O’Larey walk at the Canyon Hill Cemetery in Caldwell Sept. 27. The three were training for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, where they will walk 60 miles in three days to raise money for the fight against breast cancer. Aaric Bryan/IPT



© 2012 Idaho Press-Tribune

ometimes, being a breast cancer survivor means putting one foot in front of the other. For Sherri O’Larey, it will mean joining her family to put one foot in front of the other for 60 miles to raise breast cancer awareness. O’Larey’s experience with breast cancer started in 2004, when she went in for her regular mammogram. The mammogram showed a mass of fibrous tissue and O’Larey was referred to her doctor, who referred her to a surgeon. In between, she said she waited, assuming it wasn’t really something she needed to worry about. A biopsy proved her wrong — O’Larey had breast cancer. Within a week, she was scheduled for a right mastectomy. At the time of her diagnosis, the then 43-year-old mother of five had a lot on her plate. Between the diagnosis and her surgery, her husband went to jail for DUI. “It was really hard,” she said. “I’m proud of myself, because I definitely am the type that, you know, ‘I can do this and I don’t need help,’ although I took as much help as I could. But a lot of it I just did on my own.” She said her family and coworkers were a great source of support. The staff that gave her radiation treatments also made a difference. “I really did look forward to going to my treatments,” O’Larey said. “They were always so upbeat and fun that it was something to look forward to rather than be depressed about.” She went through 41 radiation treatments, more than usual because of her unique lymphatic system. Just after finishing her radiation, the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure came to Boise. The breast cancer survivor, still with oozing sores from her treatment and having a difficult time healing, signed up. “I walked with my open sores because I was determined to walk.” O’Larey said she has done Race for the Cure every year since then. When O’Larey mentioned wanting to do a Susan G. Komen 3-Day — a three-day event where participants walk 60 miles — her son, Justin Deibert, agreed that they should. Years went by, with Deibert bringing up the walk each year. This year, Deibert said he told his mother, “We just need to do it now. If we were to wait ‘til next year, we would be getting started at this time anyway, so let’s just do it.” The pair signed up for the Arizona event. O’Larey’s sister, Susan Maund and her sister-in-law, Margaret Hosclaw Hemry, joined the walk as well. The “Avengers Against Ta Ta Thieves” team was formed (named by O’Larey and Deibert because Deibert is a fan of the Marvel characters). Training to walk 20 miles in a day is something the team has had to work up to. Deibert trains with his dog in Chicago. O’Larey joins Maund on weeknights in Caldwell and all the ladies join forces on the weekend to walk the Boise Greenbelt. ”I am really looking forward to spending time with my mom and I am just so thrilled that we are able to do it together,” Deibert said. O’Larey, who has a pink ribbon tattooed on her wrist, a match to her eldest daughter’s, said she opted for that instead of reconstruction. “Sometimes, I think if I can be an advertisement, ‘Get your mammogram,’ you know, it does happen,” she said. “It seems like we kind of fix everything and everything’s normal again and no one knows. We have to be reminded all the time that you’ve got to get your mammogram, get it checked, because it really does happen.” O’Larey, who has survived thyroid cancer as well, is now cancer-free. But she said the thought of her cancer reoccurring is always on her mind. It’s why she now recommends that both women and men get tested, that they get fully informed if they are diagnosed and that they act immediately when told to get further screening. She doesn’t, however, let it keep her down. ”I think the most important thing now is to live for every moment.”

Sherri O’Larey, survivor




Idaho Press-Tribune • Sunday, October 7, 2012

Idaho lags in breast cancer screenings Health care professionals seek to educate and help women find resources By JOHN FUNK

© 2012 Idaho Press-Tribune

CANYON COUNTY — Idaho ranks 50 out of 50 — dead last — among U.S. states for women over 40 who receive regular breast cancer screenings, according to the most recent Department of Health and Welfare statistics. About 36 percent, or 122,000, of Idaho women over 40 did not receive a mammogram in the last two years. And that’s a problem, said Niki Forbing-Orr of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, because early detection is among the most important factors in determining who survives and who doesn’t. And the older you get, the more crucial it becomes — a 60-year-old woman is 15 times more likely to develop breast cancer than a 30-year-old. “Forty is really kind of the magic age for when women should start becoming aware,” Forbing-Orr said. “When you hit 40, you should talk to your doctor and decide how often you need to have a mammogram. Some will say every year, some will say you need to go every two years. But basically, women need to work that out with their doctor.” West Valley Medical Center CEO Julie Taylor agrees. Awareness campaigns are crucial, she said, but they only go so far. “We still have women who have not embraced this as an absolute necessity for their own health,” Taylor said. The greatest risk factors, according to information compiled by epidemiologist Chris Johnson of the Cancer Data Registry of Idaho, are being female and getting older. A healthy lifestyle — 1 to 2 ½ hours of brisk walking each week can lower the odds as much as 18 percent — can help

reduce the risk, but won’t eliminate it. Women with a family history of cancer are at higher risk. According to Johnson, having a mother, sister or daughter with the disease almost doubles a woman’s chances of testing positive for breast cancer. But that doesn’t mean women with no family can stand idly by — 85 percent of women who test positive have no family history of the disease. So why does Idaho lag behind other states when it comes to this simple, but important medical screening? That’s a hard question to answer, but it’s an issue Idaho health care providers work hard to address, Taylor said. Public, private and nonprofit agencies across the state help provide resources for low-income women with limited access to health care. And, said West Valley’s public relations director Wendy McClain, a community where mammography screenings are a high priority is a healthy community — and a healthy community enjoys benefits across the board.

SCREENING RESOURCES Women’s Health Checks — Organized by Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, this service provides breast and cervical cancer screenings to lowincome women at clinics throughout the state. For more information, visit Power of Pink — A breast cancer

awareness and education program promoted by the Caldwell Night Rodeo. Women between 40 and 65 with no insurance or limited income can qualify for free mammogram screenings. For more information, call 459-2060 or email Stampede for the Cure — Part of the Snake River Stampede, Stampede for the Cure promotes breast cancer awareness and helps offer free mammograms to women in need of financial support. St. Luke’s and St. Alphonsus provide the screenings. The program is open to Treasure Valley women who meet the Stampede guidelines. For more information, contact 466-8497, or Operation Pink Bag — A partnership of health care providers, insurance companies, government agencies and nonprofits dedicated to increasing awareness of breast cancer and the importance of regular screenings. For more information, visit

MAMMOGRAM MYTHS Dr. J’Cinda Bitters, a West Valley Medical Group family medicine physician, addresses the following misconceptions about mammograms.  “I do not need a mammogram because I don’t have a family history of breast cancer.” In fact, 85 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history.

Breast self-exam

A guide to your monthly checkup  In Front of a Mirror Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead. Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, dimpling of the skin or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match — few women’s breasts do — so look for any

dimpling, puckering or changes, particularly on one side.  In the Shower Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts — feeling for any lump, thickening or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your health care provider.  Lying Down When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow

 “I refuse to get a mammogram because it hurts so much.” Some discomfort is inevitable with this exam, but the discomfort of breast cancer pain, surgery, and chemotherapy, especially if cancer is caught at advanced stages, is far greater than the minutes of discomfort associated with mammography.  “I do not need a mammogram because my monthly self-exams are normal.” By the time breast cancer can actually be felt, it is usually at a much more advanced stage compared to what mammography can catch. Treating breast cancer when it is smaller and more localized is much easier and carries less likelihood of dying from the disease.  “I am not yet 50, so I do not need mammograms yet.” This should be a conversation you have with your doctor. The American Cancer Society recommends starting mammograms at age 40, but the United States Preventative Services Task Force recommends starting at age 50. Your doctor can talk to you about your own risks, as well as the risk noted in your family, to help you decide when to start screening.  “Mammograms can cause cancer from radiation, or spread cancer that might be there.” Studies have never shown causation of breast cancer from screening mammography, nor is there any evidence that the compression from the mammogram can spread cancer that is already there.  “I cannot afford a mammogram.” Out of pocket costs of mammography can be in the hundreds of dollars, but there are many grant programs out there for women who otherwise cannot afford it. Looking on the internet for Susan G. Komen grants, or talking with your local imaging center about self-pay discounts or payment plans might make the mammogram costs more reasonable.

under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions, covering the entire breast area and armpit. Use light, medium and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast. Talk to your health care provider about whether breast self-exams are right for you. n Exam instructions courtesy of The National Breast Cancer Foundation: breast-self-exam

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breast cancer awareness

Idaho Press-Tribune • Sunday, October 7, 2012

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Idaho Press-Tribune • Sunday, October 7, 2012

Post-cancer treatment not easy Local support groups exist to help survivors cope with life cancer-free By NICK GROFF

© 2012 Idaho Press-Tribune

In some cases, breast cancer treatment might not be the most difficult part of a diagnosis. Completing treatment sometimes leaves patients alone without support or answers, said Gail Peterson, a volunteer with the Angel Care – Breast Cancer Foundation. Peterson, who is a 15-year breast cancer survivor, said she wanted to be excited about finishing treatment and being cancerfree, but said after such an active fight she felt a letdown, as if she had nothing to do. Bruce Wehler, a licensed clinical social worker who leads a support group at the St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, echoed Peterson. “When you’re going through treatments, you have this medical team underneath you,” Wehler said. “Things happening to you, medicine into your veins, beams being shot, killing your tumor. When they’re done, they say ‘good luck, we’ll see you later.’ And it’s kind of like this drop of this safety net that’s beneath women.” That’s where area support groups — though sparse — play a vital role for breast cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell refers its patients to Angel Care. Peterson said the foundation matches survivors with patients to help them, free of charge, through the treatment and recovery in any way possible, from attending appointments to chatting over coffee. “We’ve (volunteers) all been there,” Peterson said. “Nobody knows better than us, because we’ve been there.” MSTI offers a weekly Living Through Cancer support group and a monthly breast-cancer

Photos by Adam Eschbach/IPT

Above: Reida Bow of Caldwell, works out with weighted balls to gain strength and mobility back into her shoulders during a breast cancer survivor exercise group Wednesday at the Caldwell YMCA. Bow was diagnosed with cancer in April and had a lymphadenectomy, a removal of her lymph nodes. Right: Mary Biddle-Newberry, a teacher at the Caldwell YMCA, helps Pamela Doyle of Eagle with an exercise to help regain mobility and strength in her shoulders Wednesday. Doyle had a mastectomy in December and has been in chemotherapy.

SUPPORT IN CANYON COUNTY Breast Cancer Support Group When: 6-8 p.m. first Thursday of every month Where: St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, 308 E. Hawaii Ave., Nampa Open to all breast cancer patients

Where: Caldwell Family YMCA, 3720 Indiana Ave, Caldwell Open to all breast cancer patients, priority given to Hispanic patients Living Through Breast Cancer When: Noon-1 p.m., Thursdays Where: St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, 308 E. Hawaii Ave., Nampa Cost: Free Open to all cancer patients, caregivers and survivors

care navigator for St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, said the hospital does not offer a support group specific to breast cancer, Angel Care – Breast Cancer but a monthly group at the Nampa Care Center started recently. She Foundation said the group helps patients and Online: www.angelcarefoundation. survivors at every stage network org with others and explore their own Email: journey. Cancer Support Group Phone: 888-1095, 938-3266 The Caldwell Family YMCA When: 6:30 p.m., second Tuesday of Open to any breast cancer patient, started a support group that is the every month survivor first of its kind in the area. Where: Saint Alphonsus Cancer Mary Biddle-Newberry, the diCare Center Nampa, 319 E. Hawaii Ave, Hispanic Breast Cancer Rehab rector of disease prevention and Nampa When: 4:15-5:15 p.m. Monday and management at the Treasure ValOpen to any cancer patient or survivor Wednesday ley YMCA, said the newly-founded Hispanic Breast Cancer Rehab specific support group. Living caregiver of any form of cancer. program is based on physical exThrough Cancer support group Both groups are offered at no cost. ercise to regain range of motion is open to any patient, survivor or Nanette Byerly, the cancer and strength for those affected

by surgeries. The program gives priority to Hispanic patients and survivors, but is not limited to Hispanic participants. The group, three women at this time, work through 45 minutes of physical activity twice a week. Reida Bow, 72, Caldwell, said the group is a positive addition to the community she’s lived in all her life. “It’s pretty hard after treatments and fatigue to get up the energy, but we always come out feeling better, with energy, and the ability to use my arm has really increased,” Bow said. “It’s good for us, too. We’ve all kind of walked the walk in ways. Everybody understands when you’re having a bad day.”

Kathy Ward talks the talk and walks the PINK walk By DEBRA HOLM For the Idaho Press-Tribune

There are many ways to remember a departed friend. Kathy Ward has found one of the best. Ward’s best friend, Gayle Allen, died of breast cancer in 1997. As Ward worked through her grief, she sought a way to help other women survive the disease that robbed her of her friend. Since her husband, Bill Ward, is on the board of the Caldwell Night Rodeo, Kathy Ward started a walk to raise money so that women who didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford screening mammograms could obtain them. The rodeo was already donating a portion of its Thursday night ticket sales to the “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” program. Ward started the “Power of Pink Walk” and, in its first year, 20 people walked and raised about $200. Last summer, the race, which now includes a 6K run and an approximately four-mile walk, raised around $7,700

Caldwell Night Rodeo photo courtesy of Jim Babb

From left, Tracy Kasper, Stephanie Rohrdanz, Kathy Ward and Lisa Gabiola-Weitz. Ward was honored at the Caldwell Night Rodeo for her volunteerism and hard work as the chairperson of the Power of Pink Walk from registrations, sponsorships and sales of pink bracelets. The walk kicks off activities for the Caldwell Night

Rodeo on the Saturday prior to the CNR. Funds are donated to two local hospitals: West Valley Medical Center and Saint Alphonsus

Medical Center. The walk’s organizers say they hope to increase the monies donated to help those women with no

insurance that need additional testing, such as ultrasounds and other tests, if they have indications of cancer after the screening mammograms. This year, a young man from a Kuna soccer team chose to give all the money he raised to the “Power of Pink.” He ran the race and got his friends to run as well. “There was only one man the first year and we promised him that if he’d come back, more men would walk,” Ward said. “This past summer, out of 200 entrants, at least 20 percent were men.” Ward said her friend Allen had an extremely aggressive form of cancer. She had a mammogram that showed she was fine five months before being diagnosed with the cancer that took her life. Allen’s breast cancer would not go into remission. Things went better for another friend, Linda Burnett. Breast Cancer Aware-

ness Month in 2010 reminded her that she hadn’t had a mammogram for seven years. She didn’t have health insurance. “I was accepted into the [Tough Enough to Wear Pink] program within 24 hours of calling,” Burnett said. “I had a mammogram and a needle biopsy within five days.” The program paid for the mammogram and an ultrasound, and gave other assistance. Ward said she and other organizers find satisfaction in the fact that the money they raise helps local women. “We hope to increase our efforts so women in outlying areas such as Parma and Wilder can be helped,” she said. “We’d like them to get involved, both with the walk and in getting mammograms.” It’s Ward’s way of making sure that her friend Allen is never forgotten, and that women who need mammograms get them.

Radiation may up breast cancer risk in some women By MARIA CHENG AP Medical Writer

LONDON — Mammograms aimed at finding breast cancer might actually raise the chances of developing it in young women whose genes put them at higher risk for the disease, a study by leading European cancer agencies suggests. The added radiation from mammograms and other types of tests with chest radiation might be especially harmful to them and an MRI is probably a safer method of screening women under 30 who are at high risk because of gene mutations, the authors conclude. The study can’t prove a link between the radiation and breast cancer, but is one of the biggest ever to look at the issue. The research was published Thursday in the journal BMJ. “This will raise questions and caution flags about how we treat women with (gene) mutations,” said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. He and the society had no role in the research. Mammograms are most often used in women over 40, unless they are at high risk, like carrying a mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Having such a mutation increases the risk of developing cancer five-fold. About one in 400 women has the gene abnormalities, which are more common in Eastern European Jewish populations. Unlike mammograms, an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging scan, does not involve radiation. The breast cancer screening tests have been proven to save lives and are clearly beneficial for women aged 50 and over who have an average risk of breast cancer. Experts are divided about their value in women younger than 50. Some studies have suggested women with the genetic mutations could be more sensitive to radiation because the genes are involved in fixing DNA problems. If those genes are damaged by radiation, they may not be able to repair

estimated that for every 100 women aged 30 with a gene mutation, nine will develop breast cancer by age 40. They projected the number of cases would increase by five if all of them had one mammogram before age 30. But they cautioned their results should be interpreted with caution because most women didn’t have a mammogram before 30. Researchers found women with a history of chest radiation in their 20s had a 43 percent increased relative risk of breast cancer compared to women who had no chest radiation at that age. Any exposure before age 20 seemed to raise the risk by 62 percent. Radiation after age 30 did not seem to affect breast cancer risk. “We believe countries who use mammograms in women under 30 should reconsider their guidelines,” said Anouk Pijpe of the Netherlands Cancer Institute, one of the study authors. “It may be possible to reduce the risk of breast cancer in (high-risk) women by using MRIs, so we believe physicians and patients should consider that.” The study was paid for by European cancer groups. Lichtenfeld said the study wouldn’t immediately change advice from the American Cancer Society but said concerned women should talk to their doctor about their options. “It’s not possible today to make a blanket statement about what women (with the gene mutations) should do, but physicians and patients need to weigh the risks and benefits carefully,” he said. He also warned that women who need scans involving radiation shouldn’t avoid them because of breast cancer fears. “No one should think that they should never get an X-ray because they have the BRCA1 or 2 gene mutations,” he said. “Just be careful that the X-rays you get are really the ones that you need.”

DNA properly, raising the cancer risk. In several European countries including Britain, the Netherlands and Spain, doctors already advise women with BRCA mutations to get MRIs instead of mammograms before age 30. In the U.S., there is no specific advice from a leading task force of government advisers, but the American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms and MRIs from age 30 for women with BRCA gene mutations. In the BMJ study, European researchers followed nearly 2,000 women over 18 with one of the gene mutations in Britain, France and the Netherlands. Participants reported their previous chest X-rays and mammograms, including the age of their first screening and the number of procedures. About 850 women were later diagnosed with breast cancer. Roughly half of them had X-rays while one third had at least one mammogram, at an average age of 29. The researchers did not have a breakdown of how many n EDITOR’S NOTE: Want to learn more about mammograms? Check out women were exposed to chest radiation before age 30 but our Q&A with local health care professionals on page 7


breast cancer awareness


Idaho Press-Tribune • Sunday, October 7, 2012

Eary Detection is the Best Protection According to the National Cancer Institute, early detection of breast cancer improves your odds of curability. Shedule your mammogram today at the Women’s Imaging Center at West Valley Medical Center. Enjoy a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere with a caring and professional staff.

You may qualify for a free mammogram screening at West Valley Medical Center through the Power of Pink program. Funds are available for women between the ages of 40 and 65 to receive screening mammograms and for women of any age with breast symptoms to receive diagnostic mammograms. Women 40 to 65 years old are encouraged to seek free screenings if they: • Have no insurance • Have insurance with a deductible of $2,000 or more • Meet income criteria. To find out more, call 208-455-3905

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Idaho Press-Tribune • Sunday, October 7, 2012

Boise company makes ‘Bosom Buddy’ breast forms Woman who had mastectomy in 1965 created, founded unique prosthesis business By MIKE BUTTS

© 2012 Idaho Press-Tribune

BOISE — Like so many breast cancer survivors, Melva Smith of Boise was a true fighter. And she fought more than her illness. After a mastectomy in 1965, the late Smith refused to settle for the breast prosthesis available at the time. She found them expensive and uncomfortable. “The thought that women are having to pay exorbitant prices for something as necessary as an artificial breast is almost unbelievable,” Smith wrote on the website of the Bosom Buddy breast form company she founded in 1976. “I was determined to do all in my power to fight this ‘rip-off.’” Smith made her own breast forms — filling soft, natural material with bird seed. Now, Bosom Buddy sells thousands of its unique breast forms from the company’s Boise office. The soft pillows of tiny glass beads used to fill the forms provide the comfort, especially in warm weather, many women need. “It’s a wonderful success story,” Bosom Buddy’s current owner, Stacie Neely, said. “It’s a wonderful story about a business founded by one woman’s creativity and need for something better that’s helped thousands and thousands of women over the years.” Bosom Buddy’s all-fabric

BOSOM BUDDY BUSINESS INFORMATION The Bosom Buddy product and accessory items are manufactured in Idaho, and retail sales, both nationally and internationally, are made from Boise. Wholesale sales to prosthetic dealers and lingerie boutiques across the United States and in Canada are also made from the Boise plant. Bosom Buddy maintains an inventory of thousands of breast forms in all sizes, shapes and colors, so it can ship any order the same day it receives it. Visit for more information and ordering. construction and adjustable size and weight (by adding or removing pillows) has attracted buyers from all 50 states and some foreign nations. Bosom Buddy, or B & B Lingerie, has 10 employees, some of whom sew the breast forms on their home sewing machines. It’s mostly a mail order business. “Bosom Buddy is different from all other prostheses on the market,” Neely said. “Almost all of the others are silicon. Encased plastic makes it hot and sticky and uncomfortable for most women to wear.” She said that’s part of the reason Bosom Buddy’s sales increase in the summer. Bosom Buddy’s loyal customers say the product changed their lives. “We have women who will call and say they haven’t gone outside or really left their house other than going to the grocery store in over a year,” Neely said. “Now they feel like they can be

Above: Stacie Neely, owner of Bosom Buddy, stands by three different sizes of the finished breast forms Sept. 27 at the Bosom Buddy location in Boise. Right: Stuffed bead pillows go inside the Bosom Buddy prosthesis. Adam Eschbach/IPT

themselves.” Today’s Bosom Buddy has changed little from the prototype first made by Smith almost 50 years ago. “Melva was a very creative woman,” Neely said. “She said, ‘I can make something better.’”

Breast cancer glossary  Biopsy – Removing cells or tissues to check under a microscope. There are three kinds of biopsy: only a sample of tissue is removed (incisional biopsy or core biopsy); a sample of tissue or fluid is removed with a needle (needle biopsy or fine-needle aspiration) or a whole tumor or lesion is removed (excisional biopsy).  Breast Cancer – In which the body’s cells become abnormal and

divide without control. Cancer cells may invade nearby tissues and may spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic

system to other parts of the body.  Breast prostheses — Prosthetics meant to simulate the shape, weight,

balance, motion and nipple of a real breast. They come in many shapes, sizes and materials, like silicone gel, foam, or fiberfill interior; weighted or not.  Breast Reconstruction – Surgery to rebuild the breast’s shape after a mastectomy.  Chemotherapy – Treatment with drugs that kill cancer cells or make them less active.  Lumpectomy – Surgery to remove the cancer and a small amount of normal tissue around it.  Mammogram – An X-ray

picture of the breast.  Mastectomy – Surgery that removes the whole breast.  Palliative Therapy – Treatment to relieve symptoms caused by advanced cancer. Its purpose is to improve the quality of life.  Radiation Therapy – The use of high-energy radiation from X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Definitions compiled from n

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Idaho Press-Tribune • Sunday, October 7, 2012

Local health care professionals weigh in on mammograms Why you shouldn’t be afraid to get screened

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During the exam, she will ask you history questions and then do a thorough check of your breasts, as well as teach you how to do your own exam. This part of the appointment takes 15-20 minutes. Once the breast exam is finished, the mammography technologist will take you into the room and take two X-rays on each breast, both from a different angle. Your breast is placed on a small platform and then another plastic tray comes down from above and holds your breast against the platform to keep you from moving (movement makes the picture blurry and more difficult to detect the cancer). Once they have looked at the pictures to make sure they are of a good quality, they will let you go home. Your results are not given to you at that time, but will be mailed to you in a letter in the next 10-12 days. Q: Will a mammogram hurt me? A: Janet Drake, RT(R), Coordinator, Women’s Imaging Center, West Valley Medical Center: For most women, mammograms have a mild level of discomfort. I like to tell ladies that it is like wearing really tight jeans and eating a big Thanksgiving dinner. The pants are tight and you want to get that top button undone! As soon as you do, the pressure and the tightness is gone, life is good and you want a piece of pie. The same thing happens during your mammogram. When the compression paddle is down it is mildly uncomfortable and you want to “undo the

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OfferIng MrI, MrI, CT, CT, X-ray, X-ray, fluOrOsCOpy, fluOrOsCOpy, OfferIng MaMMOgraphy, & & ulTrasOund ulTrasOund MaMMOgraphy, Enjoy aa comfortable comfortable home-like home-like setting setting Enjoy with front-door parking & little or with to front-door parkingCenter & littleof orIdaho. Welcome the Imaging Imaging Welcome to the Center of Idaho. no waiting! Evening and weekend no waiting! Evening and weekend appointments available! available! appointments

Call (208) 455-7482 to make an appointment. Conveniently Located Located in in Caldwell Caldwell just just off off Chinden Chinden and and I-84, I-84, the the Conveniently Imaging Center Center of of Idaho Idaho offers offers state-of-the-art state-of-the-art medical medical imaging imaging Imaging technology in in an an outpatient outpatient setting. setting. technology


Compiled by JORDAN GRAY

Early detection is a key component when it comes to successfully treating breast cancer. Even with that knowledge, Idaho women are the last in the nation when it comes to getting screening mammograms. We asked a group of local health care professionals to demystify the mammogram of menopause to control severe and help area women understand menopausal symptoms just why this test is so vital to Do regular breast examinatheir health. tions and mammograms Q: Should I be doing a self Q: What are the inherited breast exam every month? risk factors for breast cancer? A: Jill Winschell, RN, BSN, Breast A: Dr. Mylynda Massart, MD, Ph.D, Cancer Nurse Navigator, St. Luke’s Family Medicine Physician, West Health System: Valley Medical Center: Yes. The key to discovering Multiple relatives on the breast cancer either by mamsame side of the family with the mogram or by self-exam is to same cancer or related cancers know what is normal for you and Prior history of breast, ovarto notice that there has been a ian or uterine cancer change. The purpose of doing a Personal or family member self breast exam every couple of with cancer diagnosis before the months is to become confident age of 50 in knowing your own textures. More than one cancer diagThat will make it easier to notice nosis in the same individual that something has changed. If Ovarian cancer diagnosis at you notice something is different, any age contact your health care provider. Male relative with breast cancer Q: When should I start Atypical cells detected during getting a mammogram? How a biopsy of the breast often should I get one? Ashkenazi Jewish (Eastern A: J’Cinda Bitters, MD, Family European) ancestry Medicine Physician, West Valley Positive test for a known Medical Group: breast cancer gene mutation such Different groups have differas BRCA 1 or BRCA2 (in self or ent recommendations. Some family member) groups recommend annual mammograms beginning at age Q: What are risk factors I can 40. Others say you can wait for control? screening until age 50 and get a A: Jackie Babb, Director, SAHS mammogram every other year. Breast Care Centers and Systems You and your doctor should have a Integration of Women’s Imaging, conversation about screening and Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical decide what plan is best for you Center: given your risk factors. Maintain ideal body weight Exercise regularly Q: What should I expect during a mammogram? If you are at high risk for A: Winschell: Depending on breast cancer, you should avoid where you get your mammogram, using hormone replacement therapy or use it for a brief period you may also have a clinical breast examination done by a nurse. (5 years or less) around the time

thing on my mammogram? longer.” The older you are, the A: Winschell: DON’T PANIC. Most greater the incidence rate for things found on a screening mam- getting breast cancer. mogram turn out to be nothing to worry about. Each new change Q: What is the best advice must be evaluated though, you can give to women who to make sure that the change are fearful about getting can be ruled out as benign. If screened? something concerning is found A: Drake: Make an appointQ: What can I do to prepare? on the mammogram, the first ment today and give it a try. What should I know about my thing that they will want to do are Most women find that it really medical history/bring with me additional mammograms (to look isn’t anything like they thought it to appointment? specifically at a certain spot or to would be. A: Babb: Generally, you need magnify the area so that they can A: Babb: Take care of yourself so to be aware that deodorant see itDo more clearly). They alsodiscomfort, may that you continue you experience legcan pain or to take care may result in “artifact” on your you experience discomfort, leg or take but 15 swelling? Doultrasound you have varicose veins? wantDo to do a breast of others. Itpain doesn’t Do you have varicose veins? mammogram. You’ll be instructed to tryswelling? to determine it is a solid andheavy, could save your life! The underlyingifcause of varicoseminutes veins and to not wear deodorant for your The underlying of varicose veins andthe heavy, A: Winschell: Remember mass.achy Usually thisbecause point, they legs at can treated in our office with VNUS legs ® can be treated in our office with the VNUS appointment or be asked to wipe haveachy procedure. Covered by that mostearly insurance. Closure detection is the most decided ® that everything Closure procedure. Covered by most insurance. it off for the exam. You will need important factor in the survival of is normal. If they want to check to knowCall some basic family history now to make an appointment to receive receive breast to cancer. Although it is scary things out further, the radiologist Call now an appointment information, especially thatto is spe-make to think that if you get your mamwill meet with you to talk about your FREEthevaricose varicose vein screening.* screening.* cific to other breast cancer history your FREE vein mogram, you might be told that next step. in your family. If you are going to you have breast cancer, putting a new facility, you may ask ahead Q: What is the most common off the mammogram will result of time that your prior mammog- myth you’ve heard about in the possible diagnosis of breast raphy facility release your prior cancer at a later stage. When that breast cancer and what’s the images for comparisons. happens, there are not as many truth? *Subject to third party payer restrictions. choices in what kind of surgery Babb: “I’m too old. I don’t *Subject to third party payer A: restrictions. and treatment you will have. need to get a mammogram any Q: What if you find somebutton.” As soon as the picture is taken, the pressure releases and it’s done. The most common thing I hear from women getting their mammograms for the first time is “That wasn’t as bad as what everyone says!”

4519 Enterprise Enterprise Way Way •• Caldwell, Caldwell, ID ID 83605 83605 4519 (208) 455-7482 455-7482 •• (208) Accredited by by the the American American College College of of Radiology Radiology in in all all modalities. modalities. Accredited

20 Week Medical Weight Loss Study! We are seeking 25 people to participate in an innovative 20 Week Weight Loss Study!

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CONGRATULATIONS! Healthy Habits Wellness Clinic is seeking 25 people in an innovative 20 week medical weight loss study. Participants must have 30 to 200 pounds to lose, be over the age of 18 and be able to commit to a once a week visit for 30 minutes. Participants must agree to undergo a medically supervised weight loss profile at the start and end of the program. MUST READ: If your goals are to: lose body fat, improve muscle tone, revitalize skin complexion, control diabetes, enhance overall health & fitness, reduce cellulite, lower blood pressure, decrease cholesterol levels or improve bone density, then this study will benefit you! CALL NOW: Limited space available to the first 25 callers! The fee for this study is valued at over $3,000.00; however, you will only pay a low weekly maintenance fee if you medically qualify. The fee will include all medications, injections, lab work and office visits you need. This is an outstanding value for anyone who is serious about losing weight. Remember, because of this extremely low cost we can only take the first 25 callers. Don’t delay, start today! New patients only.

758239 C M Y K

14 S. Baltic Place, Meridian • 208.887.4872


Boise: 322-8080 Meridian: 884-8080 Nampa: 442-9595 Over 25 Years Experience •



Idaho Press-Tribune • Sunday, October 7, 2012

Canyon County breast cancer care advances Now more locations, better technology and more mobile visits offered By HOLLY BEECH

© 2012 Idaho Press-Tribune

CANYON COUNTY — Women in Canyon County don’t have to go far to get tested or treated for breast cancer with advanced equipment and methods. In the past year or so, the county’s largest health care providers have expanded their breast cancer care services.

EQUIPMENT ADVANCES CARE The new facilities and mobile units use digital mammography, allowing them to see a clearer picture of the breast tissue and catch cancer sooner. The difference between digital mammography and the old equipment is like the difference between film and a digital camera, said Dr. Micheal Johnson, owner of Imaging Center of Idaho. “We can adjust the image and zoom in and do all sorts of things that you can’t do if it’s a piece of film,” he said. “That’s why everybody’s been going to that.” Plus, digital mammography makes for easier data storage, and the pictures don’t lose quality as they age, he said. Another advancement is the comfort of mammograms — foam cushions now soften the paddles without degrading image quality, Johnson said. “It’s almost like a tiny little TempurPedic mattress that goes on there and makes it so it’s not cold, gives it a little padding,” he said.

MOBILE UNITS Thousands of women in rural Canyon County and surrounding communities receive mammograms each year through mobile mammography units. The units use the same state-of the-art digital mam-

TERRY REILLY PROMOTES, HELPS FUND MAMMOGRAMS Terry Reilly Health Services doesn’t perform mammograms, but tracks patients’ latest mammogram date and teams up with the Idaho Women’s Health Check program and Susan G. Komen to provide screening mammogram vouchers to eligible patients. Those funds have increased this year, Terry Reilly Registered Nurse Don Morrison said. Terry Reilly nurses can pull reports of eligible patients currently needing mammograms, he said. The nursing team then contacts the patients and makes arrangements for their mammogram.

Courtesy Saint Alphonsus.

mography — which produces clearer pic- The Saint Alphonsus mobile mammography unit travels to more than 70 communities in southeast Idaho and tures — that is used at clinics and hospi- eastern Oregon, seeing close to 3,000 patients each year. It also offers Dexa Bone Density scanning to determine if women may have osteoporosis. tals. Saint Alphonsus, which recently purchased a new mobile mammography unit, travels to over 70 communities in southeast Idaho and eastern Oregon, seeing close to 3,000 patients each year, spokeswoman Trish Usabel-Grohs said. The new unit also offers Dexa Bone Density scanning to determine if women may have osteoporosis CALDWELL St. Luke’s mobile unit travels all over Idaho, reaching Grangeville to the north and Grand View to the south. Its route stretches east to west from Fairfield to Baker City, Ore. West Valley Women’s Both St. Luke’s and Saint Alphonsus Imaging Center have Breast Care Navigators to make sure  Implemented the patients receive more care if they need it High Risk Program aimed after being tested. Terry Reilly partners with these mobile at early intervention  315 E. Elm St. units and nurses to offer more services at  455-6500 its rural clinics and ensure their patients’ care doesn’t fall through the cracks. “We have ... increased the number of mobile van visits to our rural clinics,” Terry Reilly Registered Nurse Don Morrison said. Terry Reilly also partners with Imaging Center of Idaho, which provides transportation in Caldwell and Middleton to its facility if necessary.

Imaging Center of Idaho

 Began hosting Saturday “mammo parties.” Women

can schedule mammogram appointments with friends and go as a group. “We provide some refreshments and try to make it a little more enjoyable,” said Dr. Micheal Johnson, who owns the center.  4519 Enterprise Way  454-0742

St. Luke’s Nampa Medical Plaza

 Breast cancer detection center opened Oct. 1  9850 W. St. Luke’s Drive, Nampa  A center will also open in Fruitland Oct. 16  909 Northwest 16th St., Ste. C, Fruitland  Both can be reached at 706-2055 or toll-free


at 1-866-381-2055



Saint Alphonsus Breast Care Center  Moved breast cancer services to Nampa Health Plaza in spring of 2011  4400 E. Flamingo Ave.  463-5997

SHOWER FOR THE CURE Cost: $20 for 16 oz. Bottle Donation: Philosophy donates 100 percent of its net proceeds from the shower gel to the Women’s Cancer Research Fund. Found at:

PERFECTIONIST [CP+R] WRINKLE-LIFTING SERUM Cost: $95 for 1.7 oz. bottle Donation: Estée Lauder will donate 20 percent per purchase to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Found at: Estée Lauder counters,

BREAST CANCER RIBBONS SCARF Cost: $10 Donation: Avon will donate 100 percent of the net profits ($8.06) to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Found at:

Pink-a-palooza Pink products abound this time of year, with tons of items sporting the pink ribbon. Make sure to check that your purchases actually go to support breast cancer research or support.

THE POWER OF PINK CERAMIC STRAIGHTENER Cost: $42.99 Donation: Conair will donate $100,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation regardless of purchase. Found at:

DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT MOISTURIZING LOTION Cost: $36 for 6.7 oz. bottle Donation: Clinique will donate $10 per purchase to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Found at: Clinique counters,

COOK FOR THE CURE TILT-HEAD STAND MIXER Cost: $429.99 Donation: KitchenAid will donate a minimum of $450,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Found at: and various retailers

ROSES & LOLLIPOPS LIP DUO Cost: $30 Donation: Jane Iredale donates 100 percent of profits from this product to Living Beyond Breast Cancer. Found at:


breast cancer awareness


Idaho Press-Tribune • Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Pretty Pink Ribbon...

Isn’t it just like a woman to choose such a beautiful symbol to signify her hope, her courage and her resilience...

Breast cancer will strike one in eight women Daughters and Mothers, Aunts and Sisters, Grandmothers and Girlfriends. Women are our caregivers and nurturers. They are strong, beautiful people full of endurance, tolerance and hope. They will endure the challenge, tolerate the set backs, but never give up hope. They will confront this deadly threat to their families. They will tirelessly work to eradicate this disease,

And they will wrap their war in a beautiful pink bow. Self exams and mammograms can lead to early detection which is critical to identify the disease at an early stage and improve prognosis and survival. Give the gift of early detection to yourself, and remind others to do the same.

Trinity Mission Health & Rehab ®

46 N. Midland Blvd., of Midland Nampa LLC




Idaho Press-Tribune • Sunday, October 7, 2012

breast cancer awareness

We found Deb’s breast cancer when it was microscopic. Thanks to our remarkable cancer team, she’s loving life again.

Deb’s mother died young of breast cancer, so she started routine mammograms early. And good thing, because when Deb was 42, our radiologist discovered a microscopic spot that was indeed breast cancer. Our expert cancer team immediately offered Deb the very latest treatment options, along with a heavy dose of support. Today, Deb is living life to the fullest, and is a strong advocate for mammograms. When you treat the region’s most critical cancer patients, you’re better at treating everything. That’s the critical difference. The Saint Alphonsus Cancer Network. Six centers strong.

Find a physician: call (208) 367-DOCS. See Deb’s story:

© Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center

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Breast Cancer Awareness Oct 2012  
Breast Cancer Awareness Oct 2012  

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