The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California on May 26, 1985 · Page 31
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The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California · Page 31

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San Bernardino, California
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Sunday, May 26, 1985
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Page 31
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Sunday, May 28, 1935 DosertMountain The Sun It's what women don't know about cancer that kills them, awareness eroiro leaders sav JL iiililMitliiillalsiiifii: By CONNIE RUTH , ' Sun Staff Writer YUCAIPA A breast cancer awareness program here Friday attended by an audience of one seemed indicative of the old saying what you don't know can't hurt you. , But Cheryl Eakin, registered nurse, and Hellen Pitts, registered medical assistant, said what women don't know about breast cancer that one of every 11 American women will get it costs many lives needlessly. "Only 20 percent of all women are doing self -breast exams, yet 90 percent of breast lumps are found by women themselves so how many are being missed?" asked Eakin, as she packed up brochures, sample breast prostheses and charts and prepared to leave the Just For You service mall. Eakin and Pitts are American Cancer Society volunteers and are employed by Medical Imaging Specialists Inc. in San Bernardino, a diagnostic center. Sharing the program were Patricia Walvoord and Mickie Geiss. Walvoord is a volunteer for the American Cancer Society's Reach to Recovery Program, a support program for women who've had breast cancer surgery. Geiss has begun a volunteer effort of her own loaning wigs she washes and styles to cancer patients who've lost their hair as a result of medical treatments. "Women have the option of knowing their bodies much better than their doctors, "said Eakin. And, although physicians have been educated on what to look for in a breast exam, "as women we know what our correct breast texture is and we know what feels different," she said. Eakin stressed the importance of routine breast exams because early cancer detection saves lives. A woman should examine her breasts at the same time each Emmpiire Desert-Mountain Edition and one ai 0 month, she said. The best time is seven days after the start of the menstrual period. Postmenopausal women should do a self-exam at the same time each month. "We suggest when you get your phone bill to reach out and touch yourself," said Eakin. Eakin said the Cancer Society suggests that women have at least one mammogram (breast X-ray) between the ages of 35 and 40, one every two years for those 40 to 49 and one annually thereafter. ther diagnostic methods include ultrasound and transillumination, or light scan, she said. Ul trasound uses sound waves to detect fluid-filled masses, while the light scan uses wavelengths of light in the red and near infrared range that pass through the breast. The transmitted light is then analyzed to determine tissue distribution. Pitts said eight of 10 lumps found in the breast are not malignant and may be caused by a fibrocystic change, a benign condition common to women of child-bearing age. Pitts said women ordered by their physicians to undergo diagnostic breast tests "should shop for the best prices" and should make sure those doing the tests specialize in breast testing. "Women should not be afraid to ask questions and learn about themselves," said Pitts. Eakin and Pitts are available for talks to women's clubs or oth- Heres how to examine oneself Any woman can develop breast cancer, but some are more at risk than others. A woman has a higher than average risk of developing breast cancer if she is over 50, if her mother or sister has had it, or, if she has had it before. The warning signs are a lump or thickening in the breast, a change in breast shape, or discharge from a nipple. The National Cancer Institute advises women to ask their doctors for a breast exam and to practice self-examination. Here is how to do a self-examination: Stand before a mirror. Inspect both breasts for anything unusual a discharge from the nipples or puckering, dimpling or scaling of the skin. Watching closely, clasp your hands behind your head and press hands forward. You should be able to feel your chest muscles tighten. Next, press hands firmly on hips and bow slightly toward the mirror as you pull your shoulders and elbows forward. This next part of the exam may be done in the shower. Fingers glide over soapy skin, making it easy to concentrate on the texture underneath. Raise your left arm and use three or four fingers of your right hand to explore your left breast firmly, carefully and thoroughly. Beginning at the outer edge, press the flat part of your fingers in small circles, moving slowly around the breast and gradually work toward the nipple. Pay special attention to the area between the breast and the armpit, including the armpit. Feel for any unusual lump or mass under the skin. Gently squeeze the nipple for any discharge and repeat the exam on your right breast. Repeat the exam lying flat on your back, with one arm over your head and a pillow beneath your shoulders. This position flattens the breast and makes it easier to examine. Pat Walvoord er groups through the American Cancer Society. For information call (714) 824-2724. Both Geiss and Walvoord have had mastectomies surgical removal of the breast. Now, they want to do what they can to help other cancer patients. Mastectomy, however, is not the only treatment for breast cancer. Radiation therapy is a promising technique for women who have early-stage breast cancer. Research is under way to compare the effectiveness of radiation therapy with the traditional surgical approach, according to the National Cancer Institute. Geiss, a retired San Bernardino florist, said mastectomy is a traumatic experience for any woman. The idea for loaning wigs to women who've lost their hair because of medical treatments came to her after reading a magazine article about a wig designer who has donated more than 5,000 wigs to cancer patients. "God has been so good to me, I wanted to do something for others," said Geiss, who may be reached by calling Just For You. Walvoord, who had a mastectomy 13 years ago, has worked with Reach to Recovery since then, she said. The program is a crisis-oriented service of the American Cancer Society for mastectomy patients, she said. Walvoord said hospitals contact the Cancer Society to inform them of a mastectomy patient and a hospital visit by a Reach to Recovery volunteer is arranged. "We have to have the doctor's permission to visit," Walvoord said. The volunteer follows the visit 1 4 I UW.?VVV- - ; , Jji -tlllff ..'.-if -''"i! :: i ' i flilllllRii ', . '.UK ' " .... , m ami! n'rirat'Ti' ifHir -Tf - tr r-rt-- i ---- , Staff photoi by Conni Ruth Mickie Geiss styles some of the wigs she provides to patients who've lost their hair. &.... - jjf'f ' ' s '4 Hellen Pitts, left, and Cheryl Eakin stress the importance of breast examinations. with a telephone call a week or 10 days after the patient leaves the hospital to see how she is doing, she said. If a patient has holed up in her home and is depressed, the volunteer calls the Cancer Society and the physician is told, Walvoord said. Women who must have a mastectomy "don't realize what an emotional trauma it is," she said. "You need someone who's been in the same boat." Walvoord recalled breaking into tears after surgery when she found she didn't have the strength in one arm to finish peeling some potatoes, a result of the surgery. Those kinds of frustrations are what Reach to Recovery volunteers help new patients understand. The volunteers also assure new patients that "it's all right to. mourn. It's all right to cry because' they've lost a part of their body.""" Walvoord said she volunteers her time because she learned first,-, hand how important it is to have, emotional support during those first days after surgery. ' , "If I had had such a visit," she said, "I would have gotten better a lot quicker." The Reach to Recov; ery number is (714) 824-2724. , Redlands hospital off ers lower cost mammography REDLANDS Anti-cancer programs at Redlands Community Hospital have been intensified with installation of new Xeromammography equipment. The equipment, particularly accurate in detecting breast cancer in early stages, was purchased with a $42,000 donation from the hospital auxiliary and money from the annual assistance appeal. "This is truly a community project," George DeLange, president, wrote in this month's hospital newspaper. In the article, he encourages women in the area to take advantage of the new opportunity. The hospital has lowered mammography charges to $60, he said. Dr. E.H. Ahlmeyer, radiology director, said the low charge is possible because of responses from the community and the volunteers. The fee will be effective through this year. Ahlmeyer said women who fall into higher-risk categories or who suspect symptoms of breast cancer should immediately contact their personal physicians for the required referral for Xeromammography examination. Screening procedure information is available by calling Ahlmeyer's department at (714) 793-3101. One of every 11 women will develop breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society of the Inland Empire. The disease is a leading cause of cancer-related eaths and early detection is the only hope for improving the survival rate. The hospital's goal is to encourage screen-. ing of women in the high-risk categories in-, eluding those over 50, and those with family , breast-cancer histories. Women with symptomatic breast problems and those in the 40-50 age group should follow their doctors' recommendations for" frequency of study. ' The American Cancer Society, National Institute of Health and the American College, of Radiology recommend studies also be per-; formed on women in the 3545 age group for ; comparison in later years. ; Ahlmeyer, in the same article, said it is important for women in these categories to ; realize that Xeromammography, utilizing" the latest technology applied with appropri-; I ate techniques, poses no significant radiation i hazard. MMtairy pensommel Johnson Airman Guy R. Johnson, son of Gordon C. and Helen S. Tillman of 14016 Victoria Dr., Victorville, has graduated from the U.S. Air Force medical services specialist course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. Graduates were taught techniques for assisting in the care and treatment of medical patients. They also earned credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force. Johnson is scheduled to serve with the Air Force Hospital at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. He is a 1984 graduate of Victor Valley High School, Victorville. Johnson Army Pvt. John R. Johnson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Eddie R. Ashley of 16558 Batson PI., Victorville, has completed basic training at Fort Knox, Ky. 1 He is a 1982 graduate of Victor Valley Senior High School, Victorville. Aguilera Airman Nick Aguilera, son of Alberto A. and Lana E. Aguilera of 12730 Kewanna Rd., Apple Valley, has graduated from the US. Air Force aerospace ground equipment mechanic course at Chanute Air Force Base, 111. Aguilera is scheduled to serve with the 43rd Munitions Maintenance Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. He is a 1984 graduate of Apple Valley High School. Zumbrunn Beatrice S. Zumbrunn, daughter of Ronald R. and Francisca Ri-toch of 661 Frances Dr., Barstow, has been promoted in the U.S. Army to the rank of specialist four. Zumbrun is an administrative specialist in Fuerth, West Germany, with the 14th Military Police Group. She is a 1980 graduate of Apple Valley Senior High School. Mounger Scott A. Mounger, son of Robert E. and Mary Newcomer of Monroe La., has been promoted in the U.S. Air Force to the rank of senior airman. Mounger is an aerospace ground equipment mechanic with the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing at England Air Force Base, La. His wife, Helen, is the daughter of Matthew and Helen F. Kar-leskint of Adelanto. He is a 1981 graduate of Wossman High School, Monroe. Krebs Army Pvt. Eric G. Krebs, son of Gwen L. Boykin of Trona, has arrived for duty in Kaiserslautern, West Germany. Krebs, a communications station controller with the 5th Signal Command, was previously assigned at Fort Gordon, Ga. He is a 1984 graduate of Trona High School. Agostinacci Airman James C. Agostinacci, son of Ella R. Wheat of 13375 Wildrose St., Trona, has graduated from the U.S. Air Force fabrication and parachute specialist course at Chanute Air Force Base, 111. Agostinacci is scheduled to serve with the 35th Equipment Maintenance Squadron at George Air Force Base. . He is a 1984 graduate of Trona High School. Arrington Pvt. Andrea D. Arrington, daughter of Nellie A. Smith of 18389 Jonathan St., Adelanto, and Frank Smith of Columbus, Ga., has graduated from the U.S. Air Force photographic specialist course at Lowry Air Force Base, Colo. She was an honor graduate of the course. Arrington is scheduled to serve at Fort Ritchie, Md. She is a 1982 graduate of Ken-drick High School, Columbus. Robbins Steven E. Robbins, son of Norman H. and Germaine Robbins of Twentynine Palms, has been promoted in the U.S. Army to the rank of sergeant. Robbins is a food service specialist at Fort Bragg, N.C., with the 82nd Airborne Division. He is a 1979 graduate of Twentynine Palms High School. Green Katharine E. Green, daughter of Dennis E. and Janet Newton of 916 Keith St., Barstow, has been specially identified for early promotion to senior airman in the U.S. Air Force. The airman was awarded the new rating ahead of other Air Force members by a "below-t he-zone" promotion board which considered job performance, military knowledge, bearing and self-improvement efforts. Green is a seaman with the 82nd Tactical Airlift Training Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Her husband, Air Force Staff Sgt. Mark A. Green, is the son of Lewis E. and Joyce M. Green of Rural Route 1, Jonesboro, La. She is a 1981 graduate of Frankfurt American High School, West Germany. Evelyn Air Force Reserve Airman John A. Evelyn Jr., son of Janet M. Laurette and stepson of Charles N. Laurette of 101 Wiesshorn Dr., Crestline, has been assigned to Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, after completing Air Force basic training. The airman will receive instruction in aircrew operations. He is a 1982 graduate of Maiden High School, Mass. Duty The U.S. Air Force has announced the retirement of Lt. Col. John W. Duty, son of Jeff D. and Lois E. Duty of Rogers, Ark., after more than 20 years service. Duty served as chief of the Readiness Division at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, before retiring. His wife, Susan, is the daughter of Robert W. and Jo Dubbell of Crestline. He is a 1962 graduate of the University of Arkansas, Fayette? ville. -; Lindquist Navy Seaman Denise M. Lindquist, son of Dennis and Carol Lindquist of 16701 Sage, Hesperia-recently reported for duty at U.S Naval Facility Bermuda. ! Than Marine Pvt. Mink V. Than, son of George and Jan Leebolt.of Crestline, has completed recruit training at Marine Corps RecruiC Depot, San Diego. Scroka ". Marine Second Lt. Gregory D Seroka, son of Nancy J. Haley, of 429 Fenoak Dr., Barstow, recently reported for duty at Marine Corps" Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms. ; A 1984 graduate of the Univeri sity of Southern California, Los Angeles, with a Bavhelor of Arts degree, he joined the Marine. Corps in May 1934. Martinez Marine Cpl. Henry Martinez, son of Tomas Martinez of 401 First, Barstow, recently reported for duty at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twenty-nine Palms. i

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