October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month and at the Ross Medical Education Center Kokomo, Indiana campus, they decided to join the fight against breast cancer. In order to educate their campus, they had the honor of welcoming Dr. Tracey Price, Radiation Oncologist from Community Howard Regional Health Systems, as a guest speaker. Dr. Price graduated from medical school at Indiana University and received her residency training at Indiana University Medical Center. She is board certified in radiation oncology by the American Board of Radiology and has been practicing for over 10 years.
She opened her presentation with a question: “How many people have been directly affected by or knew someone close to them that has battled breast cancer?” It was no surprise that over 90% of students in the Medical Assistant program, Dental Assistant program, and Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration program, and the supporting administrative and educational staff raised their hands.
At this, Dr. Price shared that breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women. She stated that 2016 statistics show that one in eight women will be diagnosed sometime in their lifetime with breast cancer and that men make up 1% of the entire diagnosed population of breast cancer.
Dr. Price discussed risk factors both modifiable and non-modifiable, early detection and prevention, treatments, survival rates and myths surrounding how breast cancer can be contracted. The Ross students offered their experience with breast cancer in their families as well as asked questions about the myths surrounding breast cancer.
Dr. Price welcomed the questions which opened up discussions on other topics surrounding breast cancer, such as exposure to certain chemicals and alternative types of radiation. She also mentioned that most people wait until something hurts before they will go to a doctor, then reminded the campus that breast cancer does not hurt. Her suggestion was that self–examinations need to be performed to check for abnormalities and mammograms are crucial for women starting at 40 years old. However, if there is a history of breast cancer in their immediate family, then a mammogram may be necessary before then.
Dr. Price’s visit to campus was informative and encouraging. Students and staff enjoyed her presentation, stories, and advice. She was even available to students afterwards to hear their stories and offer her admiration for their families struggles and triumphs over breast cancer. Dr. Price was a delight to have on campus and they are looking forward to having her back to the campus again.