The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


October 3, 2013

Detection is key in fight against breast cancer

CLINTON — Area health professionals want to emphasize the importance of yearly mammograms.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women older than 40 get an annual breast exam and mammogram. Silissa Eckhart and Tonya Edfors, from the Medical Associates radiology department, said mammograms can make a big difference in the detection and treatment of breast cancer.

A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray examination in which the breast is compressed. Eckhart and Edfors said these exams have a 78 percent sensitivity in detecting abnormalities. This jumps to 83 percent for women older than 50. Eckhart added that mammograms have been known to detect breast cancer as much as two years before the lump is large enough to be felt.

“The earlier it’s found, the much more curable it is,” Edfors said.

Dona Bark, with Genesis VNA, said if a woman detects breast cancer early enough, the survival rate is 100 percent. She coordinates the Care for Yourself program in both Clinton and Jackson counties. She added the survival rate gradually decreases the longer it goes undetected.

“The earlier that it’s caught, the better,” Bark said.

Bark said that this year the state of Iowa is focusing on making sure women are getting mammograms. Edfors said most women who need the exam are getting it, but not all.

“I think more and more people are getting their mammograms, but there are still far too many who don’t,” Bark said.

Women avoid annual breast exams and mammograms for several reasons. Some are afraid it might hurt, do not think they have the time or simply do not want to know. Others think they cannot afford it.

Bark said a breast exam and mammography can easily cost $300 to $400, even if nothing abnormal is found. For someone without healthcare coverage, this can be difficult.

The Care for Yourself program helps women in Clinton and Jackson counties by paying for breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings. This program is available to women between 40 and 64 years old, or with symptoms of breast cancer. If a woman is diagnosed with cancer, Bark will work to get her into Medicaid to pay for treatment.

Eckhart and Edfors said the screening does not typically hurt, but can be uncomfortable as the breast is compressed. Edfors added that if it would start hurting, they would stop compressing the breast. A typical mammogram appointment typically lasts 30 minutes or less.

Eckhart said that a big reason why a woman doesn’t have the test is that she is afraid to find out she might have cancer.

“It’s scary to think that you could possibly find a cancer, but it’s scarier to think that there’s a cancer growing that could be cured if you caught it early enough,” Bark said. “And the longer you wait, the worse it would be.”

She emphasized how important early detection is for breast cancer. While she understands people find it scary, she countered that some people find going to the dentist scary, but it does not prevent them from going.

“It’s worth it just to cowgirl up and get in and get it taken care of and then you’ll be able to relax and get it done each year,” Bark said.

This year, Bark is working with two students from the Ashford University Service Learning Program, Whitney Bush and Alex Bitto, to expand the Care for Yourself program’s outreach efforts. People riding the city bus will also get the message as an advertisement concerning the program will be visible in the exterior of the bus.

“So when people are riding, they have that to look at,” Bark said.

Bark is willing to speak to businesses and service organizations about the program. She can be contacted at 244-4925.

Text Only
  • PHOTOS: Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners

    Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners - Majors, Minors, Pee Wee

    July 25, 2014

  • JUST IN: Man shot in downtown Clinton

    A 32-year-old man was shot in downtown Clinton early today.

    July 25, 2014

  • YWCA offers lifeguard training

    CLINTON — The YWCA will offer lifeguard training in August.The course will be held from Aug. 4 to 10 at the YWCA. This 30-hour class will meet from 5 to 9 p.m. for four weeknights and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. A possibility of adding a class from 1

    July 25, 2014

  • Concurrent terms ordered in burglary case

    CLINTON — A Clinton man will serve four concurrent prison terms for his role in a string of 2012 burglaries.Assistant Clinton County Attorney Amanda Myers on Thursday requested the court to order Cory Mitchell, 38, to serve as much as 10 years in pri

    July 25, 2014

  • Whitecaps take away Clinton offense CLINTON — The Clinton LumberKings (13-19, 43-57) mustered only five hits as the visiting West Michigan Whitecaps (20-12, 61-41) shut down the hometown club at Ashford University Field.Whitecaps’ starter Jonathon Crawford (6-2) allowed only four men t

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-25-14 1B-Photo, Clinton track Clinton king of Brady DAVENPORT — It might not have been the blue oval, but Clinton track can place its mark at the top of the hill.The quartet of Barrion Collins, Marquis Robinson, Quavon Jones and Deshond Robinson won the high school boys division of the Battle Up Brady

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Habitat for Humanity hosts fundraiser

    CLINTON — Habitat for Humanity will host a fundraiser in Thomson, Illinois.The Clinton County group will showcase Laid Back Luau from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, at Heirloom Cafe in Thomson. The event will feature games, prizes, music train rides for

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-24-14 1B-Photo, Choice 2 Cinderella run ends DUBUQUE — The playoff run was fun while it lasted. Dubuque Hempstead, the No. 1-ranked baseball team in Class 4A entering Wednesday, ended Clinton’s chances at back-to-back appearances in the state tournament in Des Moines. The Mustangs knocked out t

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-24-14 Used Book Sale Prep Finding a (temporary) new home CLINTON — The harsh winter delivered a devastating loss to the Friends of the Library.Now, months later, the Friends have regrouped and are ready to showcase its used books — albeit in a new school building.For several years, the Friends hosted its a

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged with burglarizing cars CLINTON — A homeless Clinton man is currently held in the Clinton county jail on a $2,000 cash bond, on charges related to the Monday morning burglary of parked cars.Austin W. E. Housley, 20, is charged with possession of burglary tools, two counts o

    July 24, 2014

Clinton Herald Photos

Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.