In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’d like to spread awareness and highlight the importance of preventative care by sharing the story of Nikki Rineer, our Executive Director at Luther Acres—A Luthercare Community.
In January 2021, during a checkup with her primary care physician, Nikki was given orders to get some additional scans. During the call to schedule the scans, the scheduler noticed Nikki was also overdue for a mammogram. Nikki declined the mammogram at first, but because of the scheduler’s insistence, she conceded. The original scans came back clear, but the mammogram showed calcifications that were later determined to be cancer. Thanks to the early detection and a subsequent surgery, the cancer (which would have progressed to stage 3 or 4 within a few months if left untreated) didn’t have a chance to develop further. “It’s my hope that by telling my story, I might be able to save another,” Nikki said.
Nikki’s story had a good ending, and yours can, too, if you follow recommended guidelines:
For women, yearly mammograms starting at age 40 and continuing until age 75 are the best early detection method. Common breast examinations are no longer recommended by the American Cancer Society; however, it is important to know how your breasts look and feel normally so you can report changes to your healthcare provider right away. If you notice a lump, swelling in the breast, or other abnormal symptoms, make an appointment with your physician.