WESTERN PLAINS, MO – Breast Cancer Awareness Month may be over, but for Glenda Kentner and Monica Oaks, both mammography technologists at Ozarks Healthcare, their goal is still to prevent breast cancer through early detection 365 days by. year.

As the Ozarks Healthcare Foundation continues its fundraising efforts for the purchase of a mobile mammography unit, some of our staff and patients share their own perspective on the importance of mammograms. Glenda and Monica both have a particular passion for mammography.

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On average, they do about 25 mammograms per day at Ozarks Healthcare, which works out to about 4,000 per year. While this number is high for our region, both Glenda and Monica are using their voices to encourage more women to take the time to get tested.

“We’re seeing more and more people who think it’s okay to skip an annual mammogram,” Glenda said. “The American College of Radiology still recommends that women 40 years of age and over get tested every year. We are seeing a lot of patients who have skipped mammograms because of COVID-19. Unfortunately, we are seeing more cancers because of this. In some cases, we don’t know how long the cancer has been in effect. You could have breast cancer and not feel it. This is the sneaky thing about breast cancer. You might feel a lump, but it’s more unusual. The key is to catch it early with the mammogram.

While the survival rate of breast cancer is high when detected early, many do not realize its severity when it goes undetected.

“Cancer can spread like mold on cheese,” Monica said. “Our breast tissue is so advanced with nerves and lymph nodes. Once cancer enters the lymph nodes, it can attack all of our other organs.

Glenda and Monica spend time educating and getting to know their patients on a personal level. For this reason, they are well known and loved by many members of our community. However, many may not be familiar with the personal reasons for their passion for mammography.

“When I was 29, my doctor found a small lump,” Glenda said. “I had a mammogram and luckily everything went well. I was actually in college at the time and was drinking too much caffeine. I knew I wanted to help others feel calm like the staff did for me.

For Monica, her vocation for mammography was just that – a vocation.

“I worked in radiology doing x-rays for quite a while before having a mammogram,” Monica said. “I just felt the Lord pushing me towards the mammogram. I didn’t even know Glenda. I believe mammography is one of those modalities of health care that the Lord is leading you to.

When asked about their enthusiasm for Ozarks Healthcare’s future mobile mammography unit, Glenda and Monica shine with enthusiasm.

“The mammogram itself has improved so much over the past 15 years,” said Monica. “The detail is there, the comfort is better and the radiation is less. We have a lot of women who travel to see us because of the trust we have with them. The mobile mammography unit will be an extension of this trust with our patients and will make mammography more accessible in our region.

Shawn Marhefka, Board Member of the Ozarks Healthcare Foundation, is just one of many community members who have expressed appreciation for Glenda, Monica, their love for mammography and their dedication to serving women. from the Ozarks Healthcare community.

“As a strong supporter of the Foundation’s mobile mammography campaign, I am very grateful to those like Monica and Glenda who have dedicated their careers to helping women live longer and more fully through technology,” Shawn Marhefka , member of the board of directors of the Ozarks Healthcare Foundation. , noted. “Particularly as a period of thanksgiving approaches, I am aware of the many reasons we should be thankful for the mammogram and the protection – in some cases the life-saving help – it offers. can say from personal experience, that they are the best at what they do. Our community is fortunate to have these ladies on the Ozarks Healthcare team. Their passion to help us all live longer and live longer fully motivates me to help take mobile mammography from a dream to a reality.

According to Glenda and Monica, the best part of working in mammography is establishing close and meaningful relationships with patients.

“Most of the people we see are here because they want to be here, and most have a good result,” said Glenda. “We try to give personal attention to all of our patients because Monica and I believe it is necessary in this area. Our favorite part of this is definitely our patients.

If you have any questions about scheduling your mammogram, please call 417-257-5901. If you are interested in supporting the Ozarks Healthcare Foundation’s Mobile Mammography Campaign, you can visit https://www.ozarkshealthcare.com/support-us/foundation/mobile-mammography-unit-campaign/ to learn more about opportunities to support.

The Ozarks Healthcare Foundation, established in 1998 as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit with a local board of directors, serves as a liaison between donors and Ozarks Healthcare to help the hospital provide excellent health care to the communities it serves. For more information or to donate to the Ozarks Healthcare Foundation, please call 417-853-5200 or visit https://www.ozarkshealthcare.com/support-us/foundation/.


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