Senior Home Care Blog - Western Cook & Eastern DuPage Counties

Free Event Could Save Your Life

By Mary L. Doepke, RN

As researchers continue to make strides in the battle against breast cancer, one thing remains unchanged  –  the importance of early detection.

“It’s much more curable in the early stages,” said Deb Ellsworth, breast self-exam instructor at Amita Cancer Institute and Outpatient Center in Hinsdale.

Ellsworth and fellow self-exam instructor Jeanne Sixta will teach women the proper self-examination techniques, and what to look for, during a special event at Riverside Public Library at 7 p.m. Oct. 25. Held as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the event will demonstrate MammaCare®, the internationally recognized standard for breast examination.

Those who attend will practice on lifelike breast models, allowing them to feel the difference between the texture of normal tissue and reasons for concern.

“A lot of women tell us they don’t know what they’re looking for,” Sixta said.

MammaCare® shows women what to look for and how to look for it.

Ellsworth and Sixta encourage all women to begin self exams in their 20s and to continue monthly exams throughout their lives, or up to a point where they would seek help if a lump was detected.

All are welcome to attend the event at Riverside Public Library. Because many breast lumps are found by a woman’s partner, men also are encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact Ellsworth at (630) 286-5650.

MammaCare® also is taught from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month at the Amita Cancer Institute in Hinsdale. Register at 855-MyAmita.

Private sessions also are available.

Be Your Own Health Advocate

Ellsworth and Sixta are careful to remind women that finding a lump is not a diagnosis of cancer. In fact, most lumps are not cancerous. But it’s best to be sure. If a woman notices any change in breast tissue, she is encouraged to see her doctor.

You know your body better than anyone. If the doctor tells you not to worry but you still sense something is wrong, do not hesitate to pursue another opinion.

It’s your life. Protect it by taking charge of your own breast health.