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October 23, 2017

Protect Your Pair

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ThedaCare Physicians-New London Encourages Mammograms

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the providers at ThedaCare Physicians-New London are encouraging women to “protect their pair.”

“Women have a higher chance of survival from breast cancer if they take measures to detect it early,” said Cheryl Seelig, RN, BSN, MSN, clinic administrator.

Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.

The staff at ThedaCare Physicians-New London are encouraging the scheduling of mammograms during October. A bulletin board is decorated with pears to track the information. “A mammogram can help find breast cancer when it’s easier to treat,” said Seelig. “Screening tests are used to find breast cancer before it causes any warning signs or symptoms.”

Screening tests include a clinical breast exam as well as mammography. Women at a higher risk of breast cancer might need a breast MRI. “All women over the age of 40 should get a mammogram,” said Seelig. “Those at higher risk may need to be screened earlier and more often.”

Not all breast cancers are found through mammography. Women need to be aware of a change in the look or feel of the breast, a change in the look or feel of the nipple and nipple discharge.  “The warning signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women,” said Seelig. “And in some cases, the changes are not cancer. The only way to know is to see a provider.”

A woman might worry if she finds a lump in her breast. ”Breast tissue naturally has a bumpy texture,” said Seelig. “If the lumpiness can be felt throughout the breast and feels like your other breast, then it’s probably normal breast tissue.”

Lumps that feel harder or different from the rest of the breast, or the other breast, or that feel like a change should be checked. “This type of lump may be a sign of breast cancer or a benign breast condition,” said Seelig. “If you’ve had a benign lump in the past, don’t assume a new lump will also be benign.”

Nipple discharge should not also be quickly diagnosed as a sign of breast cancer. “Discharge is the body’s reaction when the nipple is squeezed,” said Seelig.

It is a sign of a serious condition when the discharge occurs without squeezing the nipple, comes only in one breast, and is bloody or clear. “Nipple discharge can also be caused by an infection or other condition that needs treatment,” said Seelig.

To schedule a mammogram in New London in the month of October – or any time – call 920.531.2400.

For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 32 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.