Written by on 8/12/2014 6:00:00 AM
Chances for survival vary by stage of breast cancer. Non-invasive (stage 0) and early stage invasive breast cancers (stages I and II) have a better prognosis than later stage cancers (stage III and IV). And, cancer that has not spread beyond the breast has a better prognosis than cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes.
Catching cancer at its earliest stage only increases a patient's chances for survival. Courtney Larson, a Community Cancer Care patient, knows a thing or two about the importance of early detection of breast cancer: It saved her life.
Larson was performing a breast self-exam when she discovered a suspicious lump. Concerned, she followed up with her physician. A diagnostic mammogram was performed and revealed Larson had breast cancer.
After surgery to remove her cancerous tumor, six rounds of chemotherapy and thirty rounds of radiation treatment, Larson was declared cancer-free. But her passion to keep fighting cancer did not end there.
"Cancer knows no boundaries; it doesn't care about your financial background or your family," said Larson. "I knew that my battle with cancer was ending, but someone was just beginning theirs. I had to do something and give to those who couldn't afford early detection."
With a husband in golf and passion to help others, a golf outing was born.
Larson said, "Organizing a golf outing was part of my healing process; it was how my family and I are able to give to others who don't have the means to battle their cancer."
Now in it's second year, Swinging Fore a Cause gives people the opportunity to raise awareness about early detection and funds to support cancer patients. Profits from the outing are given to Community Health Network Foundation, whose patient assistance fund provides mammograms, wigs, food and hope for Central Indiana cancer patients.
Larson encourages women to get to know their bodies and make regular breast screenings a part of their routine.
"You have got to know your breasts, it will save your life," she said. Start performing breast exams now and make it a habit."
Don't wait for the diagnosis. Schedule a screening!
Breast self-exams and screening mammograms are your first line of defense against breast cancer. Schedule a screening mammogram now - we even offer convenient evening and weekend appointments.