Annual mammogram catches cancer early for Sanford provider

Don’t wait to schedule your yearly mammogram, says Rebecca Roemen, PA-C

Annual mammogram catches cancer early for Sanford provider

Rebecca Roemen is glad she heeded her own advice.

As a physician assistant at Sanford Health in Rock Rapids, Iowa, she’s long told women the importance of a yearly mammogram. She now knows firsthand how lifesaving one can be.

A suspicious spot

She went in for her yearly mammogram in September of 2022.

“That did come back with a spot that looked suspicious. My provider recommended a diagnostic mammogram along with other testing. Ultimately, the spot was cancerous,” she said.

Roemen’s previous mammogram in 2021 showed no signs of any spots. This is a key aspect because it meant they caught the cancer early.

“The cancer was pretty localized to just one spot. However, after surgery they did find out it was starting to spread to the lymph nodes. I often think, ‘What if I would’ve just waited another six months or a year to get that mammogram?’ This story could have completely changed,” said Roemen.

Listen to our podcast: Preparing for your first mammogram

After her surgery in December of 2022, Roemen went through 25 rounds of radiation. It equated to five separate radiation treatments every single week.

She finished treatment in March of 2023. She’s cancer-free.

Don’t put your mammogram off

Beginning at age 40, it’s recommended women start getting an annual mammogram.

Roemen says Sanford Health works hard to provide that service for every patient, no matter where they call home.

“I work in a rural clinic in Rock Rapids. We have a lot of access to the mammogram truck specifically. It comes to our clinic twice a month. The testing that gets done in Rock Rapids is the same that happens in Sioux Falls,” said Roemen.

“My biggest push would be to say, ‘Just get it done. Go get your mammogram.’ There are tons of options out there to fit in most people’s schedules. And in my case, it was just so important that I did it annually.”

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Posted In Cancer, Cancer Screenings, Healthy Living, Rock Rapids