SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Throughout the month of October, KELOLAND News has shared stories on breast cancer awareness. The month is a time to bring attention to the disease that affects about 255,000 women in the United States each year.
A study with Sanford Health is helping women determine their risk for developing breast cancer.
Danyell Skillman is a wife and mother, who’s family means everything to her.
That’s why she decided to participate in The WISDOM Study through Sanford Health.
It’s a study used to help women determine if they are susceptible to breast cancer.
“I would absolutely encourage anyone to get involved in the study,” Skillman said.
“One in eight women will have a diagnosis of breast cancer. It’s important for all of us to know our risk, to do what we can to mitigate that risk, whether that’s something we can control or can’t control, understanding more about population risk helps us understand where to put the resources,” senior director of clinical research for Sanford Health Lora Black said.
Skillman enrolled in the study about four years ago. She has no history for breast cancer in her family.
“I got a phone call from the WISDOM Study letting me know that I have a gene that makes me more at risk for developing breast cancer,” Skillman said.
As part of the study, participants are able to determine a screening treatment plan.
“Lifestyle factors, family history, medical history, and it all gets put into this algorithm and at the end of the algorithm is how you should be screened,” Black said.
The study recommended Skillman receive a mammogram and MRI each year.
She encourages other to take the time to get involved in the study.
“I know it can be scary to find out this news but really for me, the more I know, the more I can control, my kids are everything to my husband and I, and I want to be here to watch them grow up and live long, healthy lives,” Skillman said.
Any woman between the ages of 40 and 74 who hasn’t had breast cancer can participate in the study.