PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Gov. Tom Wolf signed a proclamation on Monday, declaring the first week of December as Cancer Screen Week. Eleven other governors have also joined the lifesaving campaign.
Surviving cancer depends on early detection. Doctors say it’s improved but too many people are still not getting screened for things like mammograms and colonoscopies.
Cancer Screen Week aims to change that.
One Main Line mother knows just how important that is.
Joan Bradley, who works at the Main Line Health Cancer Center, wasn’t that shocked when she ended up being a patient, too.
“I have two sisters with breast cancer and I have dense breasts,” Bradley said.
That increases her risk of having breast cancer, which can be hard to find with a routine mammogram.
“The abnormality is not picked up on this mammogram even though it was there,” Bradley said.
Bradley was the first to go through Main Line Health’s high risk breast cancer program, where an MRI revealed she had cancer.
“It’s the early detection that gives you the best outcome,” Bradley said.
That’s what Wolf hopes to accomplish with a proclamation encouraging everyone to get their recommended screenings for all types of cancer.
Part of the program includes taking a pledge to get screened, where people will get a personalized list of recommended tests and tips on lowering their risk.
“I wish my hair looked that cute as cute as it did when [I] had [the] wig on,” Bradley said.
Her hair is growing back now after radiation. She also had a lumpectomy and chemo.
“Nobody wants to come into the cancer center but I tell them look you’re going to do fine. You’re going to get through this well,” Bradley said.
She has been the administrative assistant in the radiology department for 13 years, with two grown children. Doctors say early detection with breast cancer and all the other malignancies has helped reduce by 25 percent of the overall cancer death rate in the United States over the past 20 years.