Early detection key when beating breast cancer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Early detection key when beating breast cancer

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The chances of a woman having invasive breast cancer is about one in eight. The chances of dying from it is about 1 in 36. The American Cancer Society credits early detection with increasing the survival rate.

Kathy Boeckmann used to be a nurse. She knew the importance of a yearly mammogram, but still put it off.

"You know I just got tied up in my career and a mom and I had forgot about myself," said Boeckmann.

Boeckmann finally made the appointment, and found out she had breast cancer. She went home, but didn't tell her family yet. Instead went back to work at the hospital.

"At 5:30 in the morning you're in your office by yourself and you're reading this report that says highly suspicious for cancer," said Boeckmann.

Boeckmann was 46-years-old and had no family history of the disease. She says she credits that mammogram for saving her life.

"If I had waited to feel that lump I would probably not be here today. Because It probably would have spread," said Boeckmann.

Dr. Robert Savereide with the Covenant Comprehensive Breast Center in Waterloo says early detection is key when fighting breast cancer.

That's why doctors suggest women at the age of 40 should start getting yearly mammograms.

"With more screening, we're finding more and more tumors like that. That are very, very early. These are pervasive cancers and they're curable. So that's been a big change and that has to do with woman getting mammograms when they're supposed to," said Savereide.

He also says women who have a history of breast cancer should schedule a mammogram appointment 10 years before that family member got cancer.

As for Boeckmann, this year she ran the Pink Ribbon Run in Cedar Falls, celebrating her 11th year of being a survivor.

"I'm at that point where I'm watching my children grow up and watching them be happy and you can't ask for anything more than that," said Boeckmann.

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