Iowa Twins Show Why Regular Screenings Are So Important
During the month of October, you can plan on seeing a lot of pink throughout the state of Iowa. October is known as breast cancer awareness month for several countries throughout the world and this is a great reminder for women to schedule their yearly mammograms. According to the CDC, about 264,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
As with any type of cancer, early detection is the best way to start effective treatment and help to prevent cancer from spreading. Sarah and Rebecca are twins from Eastern Iowa and they both set an example of why you should be getting checked regularly, even if you don't have a family history of breast cancer.
Sarah and Rebecca are the youngest in their family and they share the unique bond of being twins. According to KCRG, they were born just minutes apart. They both received the scary news of having breast cancer months apart from each other.
Back in 2020, Rebecca had her annual mammogram and it came back with some news doctors found suspicious. She told KCRG,
I did the MRI in the Fall of 2020 and then the mammogram in the Fall of 2021. On that MRI, they found that it looked more suspicious.
It turns out Rebecca got scary news of having breast cancer. Thankfully Rebecca had been scheduling yearly screenings, doctors were able to catch cancer at stage 0. One month before Rebecca's scheduled surgery in January 2022, her sister Sarah went in for her annual checkup.
The previous year Sarah had found out she had a dense tissue. Once her twin sister was diagnosed with cancer, she let her provider know. They told her there was a good chance she would also be diagnosed with breast cancer. She told KCRG,
She said here’s what we’re going to do and she’s scribbling on a piece of paper; cause you’ve got a 30-something percent chance of getting cancer now that your twin has it.
Sarah found out she had stage 1 cancer this past March. This news came only months after her sister had found out about her diagnosis. Her twin, Rebecca has found a unique perspective on her diagnosis. She told KCRG and her sister, she's probably one of the very few people who's happy her results came back positive.
I’m probably one of the few people that would tell you, and I’m not lying or exaggerating, I’m really happy that I got cancer. Because if I hadn’t, you wouldn’t have found yours and it was already bigger than mine.
If you would like to get involved in the fight against breast cancer you can do that in Cedar Rapids this weekend. Mercy Medical center is having the Especially for You Race Against Breast Cancer fun walk/run on Sunday, October 9, from 8 am to noon. This event will help raise money for mammograms and breast care services. You'll be able to see Sarah and Rebecca on hand as they have created a team to participate in the event.