Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

Knowledge is Power: How Breast Awareness Saves Lives
Breast care, physical health and support systems

by Rachel Oren

October 01, 2011

Breast health is an important topic in women’s health today, as it is vital for women to become educated and proactive in their breast care.


Julia Lowe with Riverview Hospital quoted that those with breast cancer caught in the earliest stage have a 97 percent survival rate. Most doctors conclude that women should begin yearly mammograms at age 40. St. Francis and Dr. Erin Zusan with Community Health Network, suggest women should get a baseline mammogram at age 35 and then continue with yearly ones after age 40. Some women should consider starting mammograms earlier than age 40 depending on their family history and level of risk.

Breast Self-Exams

Riverview Hospital recommends that women receive instruction on doing a breast self-exam and have their technique reviewed at their annual exam. Women are looking for any changes in appearance or breast tissue, such as new lumps that feel like a marble or rock.

Dr. Ludwig at IU Health North Hospital suggested that women conducting breast self-exams should do so within the first two weeks of their menstrual cycle.

Support Groups

Many doctors and care centers recommend that women diagnosed with breast cancer find a local support group for educational and emotional support. Debbie Bowlby, mother of four, grandmother and great-grandmother, was treated by Riverview’s Women’s Center and the Breast Care Team.

“The staff at the Women’s Center treats you like family. They get to know you by name and make you feel like you are at home and not just a number. They know how to make people relax during their treatment and how to make one feel that life is worth living,” she said.

IU Health North Hospital, Community Hospital (North & South), the Young Survival Coalition, Pink Ribbon Connection, Sisters Network, and the Cancer Support Community are just some of Indianapolis’ support groups for women and their families battling breast cancer.