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Katie Couric’s announcement serves as a mammogram reminder before Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins

Katie Couric's diagnosis shines light on upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness Month

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-Mammogram appointments are picking up in the wake of Katie Couric's breast cancer announcement. Couric said she had a lumpectomy in July and completed radiation treatment on Tuesday. Her breast cancer was detected in June when doctors found a 2.5-centimeter tumor during mammogram performed 6 months later than her usual appointment.

Breast surgeon Rosa Choi, M.D. said,"It was very brave of Katie Couric to share her story, we wish her well and I think she is going to do great, like most women who have early breast cancer diagnosis, and treatment. It is so important to women to get the message that she is sending and we are all sending, with Breast Cancer Awareness coming up in October, that women need to go in and get their screen mammograms."

The surgical oncologist at the Ridley Tree Cancer-Center said breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in the United States for women and the second most common cause of death that can be prevented if women catch it early.

"With October coming up if you haven't gotten it this year please go in an get your mammogram before the end of the year, " said Dr. Choi, "We do a great job in this community treating it so I encourage women to get their mammogram and make sure they are in the clear."

She said some mammograms were delayed by COVID and she applauds imaging centers such as the Breast Center in Ventura that are opening on Saturdays during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Ridley Tree Cancer-Center does not offer mammograms, but Sansum Clinic does and their oncologists coordinate with Sansum Clinic radialogists.

Sansum Clinic has extended mammogram hours all year.

"Imaging centers recognized it is important to make time available if they are working and they can't go in Monday through Friday, great if they can have the hours to open on Saturday, " said Dr. Choi.

Experts also suggest checking for lumps between mammograms. Survivors even use the hashtag #feel it on the first. The means to check for lumps on the first of every month or more.

Pink is the color associated with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

People are likely to see first responders and athletes wearing pink.

Some TowBoatUS captains will also be coming to the rescue in pink boats

Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara Executive Director Sylvana R. Kelly is a survivor.

"It is 22 years now that I am a survivor, so it is a good testament to people to let them know you can get through this you have people to support you and we are here to do that for you," said Kelly.

It's one of the first stops patients make after a breast cancer diagnosis.

"Often times women come to us, men included to the BCRC after they leave the doctor's office, we welcome them hold their hand and say we are here to walk alongside you on this journey from surviving to thriving."

She said Pink Week begins this weekend.

"We are launching into Pink Week as part of the national campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness and it is our chance to teach people about the disease itself and let them know we are here to support them and let them know it is our gift to the community."

There are webinars with education programs about health and wellness.

Dr. Winifred Leung, M.D. will take part in one entitled "Debunking Myths About Mammograms."

The Breast Cancer Resource Center is celebrating its 25th year and thanks to donors all the services are free.

It is also hosting its 24th Annual Gala Fundraiser called The Pink Lounge.

The black tie event will take place at the Arlington Theatre this Saturday Oct. 1 at 6 p.m.

For more information visit BCRCSB.ORG.

To schedule a mammogram at Sansum Clinic visit https://breastimaging.sansumclinic.org/

For information about the Saturday mammograms at The Breast Center in Ventura visit bc.cmhshealth.org.

And for information about the Ridley Tree Cancer-Center visit www.ridleytreecc.org

Komen.org alos offers information and a link to donate towards research.

Article Topic Follows: Health
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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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