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HealthWatch: Importance of Self Breast Exams

HealthWatch: Importance of Self Breast Exams
 

HealthWatch (WFRV)  October is breast cancer awareness month.  Which is a great time to remind women,  no matter what your age, you should be doing self breast exams every month. 

When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, chances are she was the one who found the first signs of the disease.

Sarah Maroszek cherishes every minute she spends with her family.  Sarah's Journey began last fall, when she was taking a shower. 

"I just happened to be washing my breast and I noticed there was a lump on the right side," explained Sarah Maroszek, breast cancer survivor.

Sarah says since she was only 31 and had just had her yearly physical a month before,  she didn't do anything right away.  But it worried her. 

"I decided I needed to listen to the little voice in my head that was saying you need to go and get it checked out," said Sarah.

Sarah went to see Dr. William Owens at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.  Dr. Owens thought the lump was suspicious and ordered a mammogram.  

"She presented with her breast cancer in her early 30's," said Dr. William Owens, Breast Surgeon, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

The breast cancer was stage 3. Sarah opted to for chemotherapy, a lumpectomy and radiation.  

"Thankfully, she is doing quite well," said Dr. Owens.

About 45 percent of women discover they have breast cancer through self exams.   

"The doctor who does the physical exam only finds the breast cancer only about 5 percent of the time.  The patient herself is really the best judge because she knows how her breast tissue feels and can make an assessment if there is a change," said Dr. Owens.

If you find something is different.  

"If you notice a lump, if you see skin puckering, if you notice spontaneous discharge, by all means, get it investigated," said Dr. Owens.

If you don't.  "If its neglected then it puts it in a higher stage that makes it less likely to be cured," explained Dr. Owens. 

Sarah checked.  "And because I found it, I'm still sitting here today.  And I can still kiss my kids and tuck them in every single night," said Sarah.

You still have time to help fight breast cancer.  Join Aurora BayCare for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. 

You have plenty of time to sign up.  The walk is Saturday, October 26th at Ashwaubenon high school.   

To learn more you can call Aurora BayCare at (920) 288-8000 or email healthwatch@aurorabaycare.com <mailto:healthwatch@aurorabaycare.com

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