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Women: Don't Forget About Your Health

May 12, 2011, 6:10 PM by Kelli Grant

Women: Don't Forget About Your Health
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Women are typically the caregivers. The ones who makes sure the home is in order and everyone is taken care of.

But when that woman gets sick, her family's health can suffer as well. That's why this week all women are being urged to take control of their health for everyone they love. It's what one KELOLAND woman did and looking back, she's more than thankful she did.

It's Women's Health Week, a time for women to take time out for themselves and to make those important yearly appointments. It's something Cheryl Merry did and it saved her life.

It's day like these Merry is thankful for. But five years ago she had one thing on her mind: beating cancer.

“I got a call back saying that they needed me to come in for a second mammogram for additional views,” Merry said.

That second appointment led to a biopsy and finally a cancer diagnosis.

“It's called Ductal Carcinoma in Situ, which means the cancer has not invaded into the tissue yet,” Merry said.

The cancer was caught early and that was thanks to consistency. Every year for the last 14 years, Merry had gotten a routine mammogram.  She's a gynecological oncology nurse at Sanford and knows all too well the importance of yearly screenings.

“Had I not had a mammogram, you know that would allow those cancer cells to continue to grow,” Merry said.

“Usually most medical conditions can be picked up in an early form so that they're much more treatable and don't do long-term damage,” Sanford Gynecologic Oncologist Dr. Maria Bell said. 

Bell often sees women after they've missed that important screening and cancer is found.

“We as women are often times the caretakers of our husbands and children. So if we get sick then it becomes an issue. So I think for the entire family's health, it's important that women are coming and getting screened,” Bell said.

They're screenings women like Merry will never miss. That way she can continue to call herself a cancer survivor.

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