PORTAGE, Mich. — Dr. Mika Reschke has heard all the myths about mammograms, she said. She’s a breast surgical oncologist at Bronson hospitals and whenever a patient says that radiation causes cancer, she immediately tells them that it’s not true. The dose is too low.
However, she understands their concerns.
“I always tell all my patients nobody wants to be in this situation but one of the worst parts is when you don’t understand,” Reschke said during an interview with FOX 17. “We have patients who come in who tell me ‘well I was told I didn’t need a mammogram 10 years ago and now I have this breast cancer. What do we do now?’”
Her goal is to educate women on what to do, she said. So, Reschke and few other Bronson doctors hosted Ladies Night Out Tuesday evening at the medical center in Portage to help educate women about breast health and eliminate their fears.
“There’s a lot of mistrust for whatever reasons with the medical community,” Reschke said. “There’s a lot of concerns where I don’t want to get this looked into because I don’t want to know what it might be.”
Reschke said she encourages all women to get their mammograms early. Mammograms were not offered at the free event. However, getting a diagnosis now is much better than getting one in five years she said.
“There’s also the issue of I’m too busy running my kids around to their games and events and cooking dinner and working,” she said. “Women need to be reminded that it’s just as important to stop and take care of themselves.”
Reschke said one of the best ways to do that is by watching one's weight. Weight impacts everything from a woman’s lungs, her cardiovascular system and how she will recover from a surgery.
“A lot of people don’t realize it impacts your risk of breast cancer,” she said. “The more weight that we have, the more estrogen we’re producing the more risk of breast cancer.”
It’s another message that was delivered to the attendees at Ladies Night Out, which ran from 5 p.m to 7 p.m.
For the women who could not attend, there will be another event held on Wednesday Oct. 2 at the Douglass Community Association at 1000 West Paterson St. in Kalamazoo.
“The more we can get out there, the more we can get the information spread so that women can get their mammograms and take control,” Reschke said.