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Aurora Medical Center in Kenosha highlights importance of annual mammograms

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Kenosha, Wis.—October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and according to the National Cancer Institute, 192,370 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. One in eight women will be diagnosed in her lifetime.

The encouraging news is that breast cancer death rates continue to decline, most likely the result of breast self exams and annual mammograms, two important ways women can be proactive about their breast health. According to government estimates, almost 78 percent of Wisconsin women aged 40 and better had a mammogram in the past two years. While that surpasses the national objective of 70 percent, it still shows that there is room for improvement.

Early detection of breast cancer can increase a woman’s chance of survival. At Aurora Medical Center, Lori Van Horn, a registered nurse who serves as the hospital’s breast care coordinator, said breast self-exams are recommended every month starting at age 20. Clinical breast exams are suggested every 3 years for women age 20-39 and annually after age 40. A screening mammogram every year starting at age 40 is also encouraged.

Mammograms remain the best early detection method available and with the advent of digital mammography, cancers are being detected earlier in women under age 50. Aurora Medical Center offers digital mammography.

In her role, Van Horn serves as a resource for information about breast health, breast cancer, and treatment options. She partners with patients who have abnormal mammograms, and serve as the liaison between the doctor’s office and the patient to ensure that there are no gaps in the process. She is part of a team of committed and knowledgeable health care professionals that includes mammography and ultrasound technicians, nursing staff, radiologists, surgeons, and pathologists.

“The good news in all of this is that if it’s detected early, it’s a more positive outcome,’’ she said. “We have information, we know more about prevention today than in the past. An annual mammogram and self-breast exams are the keys to staying healthy.’’

A large part of her role involves education and advocating for women. She also help facilitates Aurora Medical Center's support group for breast cancer survivors, held the first Tuesday of every other month from 6 p.m.-7 p.m., conference room J. Aurora Medical Center is located at 10400 75th Street, Kenosha.

“As a patient advocate, I support and assist the patient through the entire process, ensuring a smooth flow through the continuum of a women's breast health needs,’’ said Van Horn.

To learn more about breast health, please contact Lori Van Horn at 262-948-5846 or check out www.AuroraHealthCare.org.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Andy Johnson
Phone: 262-767-6267

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