“Check yourself,” Say Asante Health Experts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Asante offers free clinical, physical breast exams at two events during October
Caitlyn Littrell of Klamath Falls knows how important it is to pay attention. Her mother had breast cancer when she was 42 and Caitlyn discovered hers when she was only 28.
She was caring for her 6-month-old baby when she noticed a lump and thought it might be from the nursing. “I have done regular self breast checks since I was 19,” Caitlyn says. ‘I thought it was probably nothing, but it grew fast and it was painful.” Tests revealed it was an aggressive cancer that had spread quickly to her liver. “I was surprised. I thought I might get cancer someday, but not so young. I am glad I got it checked,” she says.
Thankfully, Caitlyn spotted the cancer right away, says Melanie Dines, RN, Caitlyn’s nurse navigator at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. "With early diagnosis, you have the best fighting chance for surviving breast cancer," she says.
Today, Caitlyn is free of cancer, recovered from reconstructive surgery, and teaching high school English again. “God is just caring for me,” she says. “And I have had wonderful care from my doctors and nurses.”
For Caitlyn, it was a very fast-moving cancer and already in stage 4. For most women, an early diagnosis will catch it in the first stage when the 5-year survival rate for women is 99 percent (ACS Cancer Facts & Figures, 2013). “So it is important to know your breast health,” says Dines. “It is your best defense.”
That is why Caitlyn and the breast health experts at Asante encourage all women to get checked and know their breast health.
“Pay attention. Do it regularly. And if you notice something, it is never bad to go and get it checked,” she says.
First, every woman should know how to do a self breast exam and do it often. "And if you notice something is different, then do something about it," says Dines. To learn how to do a self exam, visit breastcancer.org and, in the search window, enter “Five Steps to a Breast Self Exam.” Or search for “Self Breast Exam” on YouTube.
Then, starting at age 20, every woman should get a physical breast exam from a medical professional every three years. After age 40, the American Cancer Society recommends women get a mammogram and a physical breast exam every year.
Both Asante imaging centers in Grants Pass and Medford encourage women over 40 to schedule a mammogram in October. If insurance or money is a concern, the Asante Foundation has an assistance program to help women who qualify to get a breast exam.
Asante offers free breast cancer risk assessment counseling through its Breast Oncology Nurse Navigators in Grants Pass and Medford.
In addition, both centers are offering free physical breast exams at two events in October in cooperation with Medford Women's Clinic in Medford and the Women's Health Center of Southern Oregon in Grants Pass.
Schedule a Mammogram During Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Women who come in during the month of October for a mammogram at Asante will receive a free manicure gift and a drink card for the Human Bean. Women will also be entered into a weekly drawing for a manicure, and the grand prize drawing of a spa treatment package at one of Asante’s salon community partners: Salon Vivid in Medford, Waterstone Spa in Ashland, and The Spa at Club Northwest in Grants Pass.
To make and appointment call
Asante Imaging in Medford
Asante Ashland Community Hospital
Asante Women’s Imaging in Grants Pass
Free Clinical Breast Exams
In October, Asante will sponsor free clinical breast exams (not mammograms, but physical breast exams) at the following locations:
Oct. 17, 4 to 6 p.m.
Medford Women’s Clinic, 3170 State Street
Registration required, please call 541-789-6164 or 541-789-6165.
Oct. 23, 3 to 5 p.m.
Asante Women’s Imaging / Women’s Health Center of Southern Oregon
700 SW Ramsey Ave., Suite 101
Registration required. Please call 541-955-5446.
Financial Support for Women to Get Mammograms
For women who qualify for a voucher, Asante Imaging in Medford and Asante Women’s Imaging in Grants Pass can provide a mammogram at no charge to the patient through the Connie Fiske Memorial & Asante Rogue Regional Screening Mammogram Funds. Since the inception of these programs in 2009, 848 women in Medford and 670 in Grants Pass (1518 total) have received free mammograms. If the mammogram reveals an anomaly, the woman is referred to the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program for future funding.
This is an assistance program for uninsured women who qualify.
To find out if you qualify, call Asante Imaging in Medford at 541-789-6150 or Asante Women’s Imaging in Grants Pass at 541-955-5446.
The number of vouchers is limited.
If you would like to help, you can donate to the Connie Fiske Memorial Fund and/or the Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center Screening Mammogram Fund via the Asante Foundation.
What is the Connie Fiske Memorial Fund?
In October 2009, a free screening mammogram fund was established by Asante for its hospitals, Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center and Asante Three Rivers Medical Center. The fund is in memory of Connie Fiske, a nurse at ATRMC who died from breast cancer and was instrumental in the grant project. The fund is supported by grants from the Susan G. Komen Foundation and local donations from businesses and individuals.
Who Is Eligible
This fund helps women needing screening mammograms who fit the following requirements:
- Be a resident of Jackson or Josephine County
- Be uninsured and up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level
- Be 40 to 64 years old
- Be delinquent for a screening mammogram
If the screening finds an anomaly, the woman is referred to the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program for future funding.. Since the inception of the fund in October 670 women have received funds at Asante Women’s Imaging. These women would not have received mammograms without assistance of this kind.