Breast cancer victim's battle brings awarenessThe family of Arlene Hurd knows the importance of regular mammograms. Hurd was diagnosed with third-stage breast cancer in 1996, when cysts formed in her right breast between mammograms. One was malignant, her husband, Chas Hurd, said.
By: Melanie Brandert, The Daily Republic
The family of Arlene Hurd knows the importance of regular mammograms.
Hurd was diagnosed with third-stage breast cancer in 1996, when cysts formed in her right breast between mammograms. One was malignant, her husband, Chas Hurd, said.
She had a mastectomy at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital and received chemotherapy treatments at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. She then was declared in remission.
She was later diagnosed with acute leukemia that she battled twice. Five days after being told that no treatment could cure her, she died on July 1, 1999, at age 54.
“She knew she had cancer and she was more concerned about our daughter and other people that they make sure they get mammograms,” Chas Hurd said. “With the chemotherapy she was doing and going to the Mayo Clinic, she was hoping they would find something so that somebody — our daughter or any other person — would be able to survive the whole thing.”
So far in 2009, 192,370 new cases of breast cancer have been reported nationwide, with 40,170 deaths. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, according to American Cancer Society, and the second leading cause of cancer death, behind lung cancer.
In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Avera Queen of Peace Hospital signed up 50 women, with 15 on a waiting list, for its annual free mammogram event today.
Trish Delaney, vice president of marketing/foundation, said women will get a digital mammogram and physicians will conduct examinations. Self breast exams also will be taught.
“There are more reasons than financial for a woman not to get a mammogram,” Delaney said. “They are hesitant, afraid or indifferent. They don’t think it will happen to them.”
The event is being offered for free to help quell those fears and bring attention to the need, she said.
Delaney said other groups will be present, and refreshments will be provided.
Arlene Hurd’s openness about her cancer battle and her desire to inform women about preventive measures with breast cancer led her family to get involved as well. The couple’s daughter, Keri DeSutter, now of Fargo, walked in the Chicago Marathon in her mother’s memory in October 1999.
“She wants to make sure … it doesn’t happen to other moms,” Chas Hurd said.
Hurd has organized the CorTrust Pro-Am golf event, which benefits the Avera Queen of Peace Cancer Center, the past three summers.
Hurd urges area residents to get checked by their physicians, as well as schedule regular mammograms, to detect breast cancer early.
“The possibility of them getting it at a lesser stage will benefit them so that they don’t have to go through what Arlene went through,” he said.