Former local striving to educate the public during breast cancer awareness month
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IDAHO FALLS — A local clinic is teaming up with an international organization to spread the word about Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.
Teton Radiology and the Know Your Lemons Foundation hope this month will help others understand the importance of catching breast cancer early. Eastern Idaho native, Corrine Ellsworth-Beaumont, the CEO and founder of Know Your Lemons, said that if breast cancer is caught early enough, there is a 99% survival rate.
“Our goal is to get as many people as we can diagnosed in those earlier stages,” Ellsworth-Beaumont said. “This month, we are launching a know your lemons challenge to help people know there are 12 symptoms of breast cancer.”
The challenge entails people downloading the Know Your Lemons app to learn the 12 signs of breast cancer. Participants then bite a lemon for 12 seconds and sahre the video with friends to spread the word. Ellsworth-Beaumont said they then encourage people to donate $12 to help with the organization’s educational programs.
“The reality is breast cancer doesn’t just happen in October, it happens every single month,” Ellsworth-Beaumont said. “In Idaho, the screening rate for cancer is incredibly low. We can do a lot better when it comes to getting our mammograms.”
Dr. Michael Enslow with Teton Radiology focuses daily on diagnostic radiology, detecting and preventing breast cancer for eastern Idahoans. Enslow hopes the campaign will help encourage women to come in and get screened for breast cancer.
“My personal opinion is women are not aware of it,” Enslow said. “I wouldn’t know if it’s not what I did every day.”
Ellsworth-Beaumont, whose grandmothers both died of breast cancer, used her time while getting her Ph.D. to study why early detection is commonly missed. She said many people are uncomfortable talking about breast cancer.
“We have fear when it comes to cancer. It’s taboo when it comes to (talking about a) breast,” Ellsworth-Beaumont said. “We use lemons as a stand-in for breast, which means nothing censored … it’s going to educate without taboo, without fear.”
With people talking about breast cancer, Know Your Lemons hopes it will prevent something that Enslow sees every week. At the clinic, women come in who have not gotten screened annually for breast cancer and the prognosis is worse.
“Having yearly screening mammograms makes a huge difference when it comes to catching breast cancer at the early stages,” Enslow said. “We know it saves lives.”
Know Your Lemons partners with imaging centers around the country and to help with their mission. Locally, Teton Radiology is donating to the organization each time a woman comes in and receives a mammogram.
“Teton Radiology is going to have breast health educators,” Ellsworth-Beaumont said. “They go out with our materials to teach people and that is really important.”
Enslow said those with questions about getting screened for breast cancer should contact their primary care provider. The Know Your Lemons app also provides lists of resources women use to get the healthcare they need.
“As a physician, I don’t take it lightly to recommend every single woman in the entire country and world to (get mammograms) every year,” Enslow said. “Something so simple can make a huge difference in a woman’s life and the people around them.”