Ladies Night Out promotes breast health

Free breast cancer screenings, education on financial options provided

Dr. Jennifer Rice knows the importance of breast health. That’s why she created and championed, with the help of a team at the Johnson County Healthcare Center, the annual Ladies Night Out event.

The event is tailored for the woman who has too much on her plate, Dr. Rice said. It’s quick, convenient and provides education regarding breast health. Johnson County Healthcare Center providers (including Dr. Rice, Dr. Mullen, Dr. Williams, Dr. Rinker and Chelsea Puente, PA) will offer free breast cancer screenings, and those who attend are eligible for prizes.

“Breast cancer is much more treatable with higher cure rates if it is caught early enough,” Dr. Rice said. “A combination of self breast exam, clinical screening exam with the provider, and mammogram offers the best chance to find a malignancy earlier and offer a more successful treatment.”

Providers have found at least one case with a breast abnormality each year that the clinic has hosted the event.

“These are cases that may not have been found without the event,” Dr. Rice said.

Depending on the age group, breast cancer affects 1 in 4 women. The Johnson County Healthcare center recommends that women 40 years old and older receive a mammogram and a clinical breast exam (an exam performed by her primary care provider).

“Neither test is perfect, but the combination improves the odds of finding an abnormality early,” Dr. Rice said. “It is a good idea to perform a monthly self breast exam. However, I recognize that women are busy, and self-care like this is hard to stay on track with. In my office, I tell women to do them when they think of it – even if that is just three to four times per year. The main objective is to be able to recognize something that has changed and was not there before. It is important that each woman is familiar with her own baseline.”

Ladies Night Out is meant for all women, but Dr. Rice said she wants to specifically target women over 40 years old.

“My goal is to offer free exams to those who may not get their annual physical done otherwise – whether that be due to financial, time or other constraints,” Dr. rice said. “We also have our radiology team available to help schedule mammograms and a representative from the Wyoming Cancer Resource Network to offer financial resources for those who may not be able to afford the proper screening exams.”

Ladies Night Out is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 12 at The Family Medical Center, 497 West Lott Street. No appointment is necessary.