group of women wearing pink and white

Early Detection: The Key to Saving Mothers

group of women wearing pink and white

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate and honor the women who have made an impact in our lives. But for many families affected by cancer, it can also be a time of sadness and worry. To help prevent this, the Bastrop County Breast Health Initiative is urging women to make a Pinky Promise this Mother’s Day and beyond to get screened for breast cancer.

Breast cancer is a serious disease that affects both men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. The good news is that early detection can make all the difference. That’s why it’s so important for women to get screened regularly.

The Bastrop County Breast Health Initiative and its many Pinky Promise partners is working to provide access to free mammograms and other resources for uninsured or underinsured women. By helping to bridge gaps in healthcare, we can ensure that every woman has the chance to live a healthy and full life.

It’s not just women over 40 who need to get screened. If you’re under 40 and have a family history of breast cancer or feel a lump or abnormality, it’s important to see your doctor. And if you don’t have a doctor, the Pinky Promise phone number is available for support.

Dr. Linda Ornelas Wilson is a breast cancer survivor who didn’t have a family history of cancer. However, over five years, she and her family battled breast cancer. As she was completing treatment, her daughter, a fourth-year medical student, found a lump that turned out to be breast cancer at 30. Because of her age, her doctors had her do genetic testing, which led them to find CHEK-2 less-common genetic mutation that increases one’s risk for breast cancer. The cancer treatment she underwent put her through early menopause, which affects fertility. 

Dr. Wilson’s other daughter was tested and found positive for the same gene. Because of her age, 36, the surveillance protocol changed. After several rounds of preventative screening, she had a Prophylactic Mastectomy. Women under 40 are being diagnosed more frequently with breast cancer, and there are different considerations for younger women when they are diagnosed with the disease. Dr. Wilson’s story is a reminder that regular self-exams and mammograms are a family affair. 

 This Mother’s Day, we encourage you to make a Pinky Promise to get screened or remind the women in your life to do the same. For women over 40, an annual mammogram is recommended. For women under 40, it’s important to know your family history and see your doctor if you feel a lump or abnormality. And if you’re uninsured or underinsured, you may be eligible to access free mammograms and other resources.

Let’s honor our mothers by taking care of our health and making a Pinky Promise to get screened for breast cancer. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against this disease.

If you or someone you know needs help navigating the screening process or the post-diagnosis process, call Lydia Perez at (512)392-1161 Ext. 322.