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Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington highlights importance of annual mammograms

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Burlington, 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 Memorial Hospital of Burlington, Susan Kandler and Maureen Redmer, both registered nurses who serve as the hospital’s breast care coordinators, 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 Memorial Hospital of Burlington offers digital mammography.

In their roles, Kandler and Redmer serve as a resource for information about breast health, breast cancer, and treatment options. They partner 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. They are part of a team of committed and knowledgeable health care professionals that includes mammography and ultrasound technicians, nursing staff, radiologists, surgeons, and pathologists.

"Information and education are powerful tools in helping women stay healthy,’’ said Kandler. “We know more today about breast disease and prevention. An annual mammogram and self-breast exams every month are important ways that women can detect any issues early.’’

They also help facilitate Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington’s support group for breast cancer survivors, held the first Tuesday of each month from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., at Aurora Wellness Center, 300 McCanna Parkway, Burlington.

“Our role is to lend a hand of support,’’ said Redmer. “A cancer diagnosis can turn yourworld upside down and we are here to help make sure your questions are answered, guide you through the various treatment options, and care for you as we would if you were a family member or friend.’’

To learn more about breast health, please contact Susan Kandler or Maureen Redmer at 262-767-6374 or check out

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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