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Breast Health Care

Monthly Self Exams, Annual Mammograms: Key To Early Detection

It is estimated that more than 240,000 women in the U.S. were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. It is now possible to detect most breast cancers at a very early state. With early detection and improved treatments more women are surviving breast cancer. Today, women  have more treatment options than ever.

Finding breast cancer early means that you have more treatment options and your chances of survival are better. Survival is greater if the cancer has not spread outside the breast when it is diagnosed. As an example, about 9 out of 10 women whose cancer is diagnosed before it has spread outside the breast will be alive five years later. However, if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body at diagnosis, only about 2 out of 10 women will be alive 5 years later.

We are excited to implement full field digital mammography to our arsenal of early detection tools, and we invite you to learn more about the advantages of this new technology. As healthcare providers, we want to be your partners in ongoing breast health through all stages of life. Being partners means you – and all the women in your life – need to take charge of your health … do monthly self exams, see your doctor if there is anything suspicious, and get a mammogram every year after age 40.

Putting it All Together

At Orange City Area Health System, we have a team in place to help empower women at all stages of life to take care of their breasts – from cancer prevention, to diagnosis, to treatment and support.

Mammography. If you’re over 40, the American Cancer Society recommends a screening mammogram every year for early detection of breast cancer. We make it easy, with extended mammogram hours … a quiet, private Women’s Imaging Center (complete with complimentary chocolates!) … and timely results by our board certified radiologists. And now, with a full field digital mammography system in place, you are assured of the best technology for early detection.

Breast biopsy. We perform ultrasound-guided biopsies for accurate diagnoses of suspicious tumors.

Surgery. Our skilled surgeons can perform both lumpectomies and mastectomies in our state-of-the-art “high tech, high touch” surgical center. Plus, we offer Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy during breast cancer surgery, a leading-edge procedure recently endorsed in a study by Memorial Sloan Kettering. Learn more about Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy here.

Chemotherapy. Breast cancer patients don’t have to travel to receive their chemotherapy. Our oncologists can prescribe therapy that is administered right here in our clinic by our caring nurses.

Support and asthetics. Kim Lyons-Weiland offers her “Beyond Pink” outreach clinic here at OCAHS so cancer patients can receive the pre- and post-surgery products, services, and support they need.

Physical and aquatic therapy. Following surgery, our therapists can work with patients who may be experiencing lymphedema, or swelling and stiffness.

American Cancer Society guidelines for mammography for average risk women

These guidelines are for women at average risk for breast cancer. Women with a personal history of breast cancer, a family history of breast cancer, a genetic mutation known to increase risk of breast cancer (such as BRCA), and women who had radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30 are at higher risk for breast cancer, not average-risk.

  • Women age 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast screening with mammograms if they wish to do so. The risks of screening as well as the potential benefits should be considered.
  • Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women age 55 and older should switch to mammograms every two years, or have the choice to continue yearly screening.

Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.

“On Mother’s Day 2007 I found a lump in my breast. As mothers, we always tend to take care of everybody else, but we also need to take care of ourselves. Please get your routinely-scheduled mammograms, and make sure you do your monthly self breast exams. Do it for yourself – do it for your children and family. Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid.”

Sandy Albers

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June of 2014. All sorts of ‘firsts’ were about to be part of our lives – first surgery, first chemo, first bad day after chemo, etc. And then I will always remember the ‘last’ – the last day of chemo. I can’t say enough about how everyone at OCAHS rallied behind me. I am now doing very well and hope to ‘get back up on my horse and ride into the sunset.’ See you all on the trail!”

Barb Krull

Orange City Area Health System is a comprehensive health system encompassing four family medicine clinics, sports medicine clinic, behavioral health clinic, award-winning hospital, birth center, surgical center, radiology and laboratory services, occupational health services, specialty outreach services, physical and aquatic therapy, home health and hospice, a retirement community, and a senior care center. The health system campus – designed with privacy and total healing as its foundation – is situated on 37 acres, including a pond with fountain, a healing garden, and a field of prairie grasses and wild flowers adjacent to the PuddleJumper Trail.

A team of family medicine providers, along with dedicated nurses, medical specialists, and 500 support staff, are committed to serving the region with the Core Values of Integrity, Commitment to Excellence, Dedicated Colleagues, and Extraordinary Customer Experience. Orange City Area Health System has been named one of the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the nation, one of “50 Critical Access Hospitals to Know” in the U.S., and a Women’s Choice Award recipient for Outstanding Patient Experience for three consecutive years.



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