Indiana

Health Officials Say Early Detection and Testing Is Key to Fighting Cancer

Some Indiana counties have higher rates of cancer than others especially when it comes to cases of breast and prostate cancer.

In fact, a 2016 community health needs assessment identified both types as a top priority in Warrick County alone. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, Warrick County has the highest rate for breast cancer in our area.

Deaconess Mobile Breast Center Program Director Jill Trautvetter says, “And a lot of the research shows, that these women are at higher risk because they don’t have access to care, or they’re not taking the time to have this done.”

Dubois and Warrick County have the highest rates for prostate cancer with risk factors of smoking, obesity, and the biggest of all genetics.

Urologist Dr. David Moore says, “There are also certain genetic syndromes where even women with a history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, can pass those genes onto their male offspring that increases their risk for prostate cancer.”

Doctors say all men ages 55 to 75 should be getting prostate cancer screenings every year possibly even earlier if there is a family history. But not all men are following that recommendation.

“There tends to be a trend in men’s health in general, that statistically, the majority of men are unlikely to seek medical attention for a health problem,” says Dr. Moore.

And early detection in both breast and prostate cancer is crucial.

“It’s important that we catch these things early before they spread to the bones or become no longer treatable,” says Dr. Moore.

Doctors say getting a prostate cancer screening is very easy. “A simple blood test and an exam. Definitely want to get that done yearly with your primary care doctor if you’re in the appropriate age range,” says Dr. Moore.

When it comes to breast cancer. “Women starting at age 40, should have an annual screening mammogram. It’s just as important as your physical and getting your flu shot every year to get a mammogram every year,” says Trautvetter.

Deaconess has a mobile breast center bringing the mammogram screening to those women at a higher risk and potentially saving lives.

“We encounter women who are in their 50’s and 60’s, who’ve never had a mammogram. So they’re already 10,15,20 years behind what they should be doing, and in a lot of cases it’s because they didn’t have the money, they didn’t have transportation, they didn’t have the education to know how important it was to do it every year,” says Trautvetter.

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