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Avera hosts first-time breast cancer prevention event

Dr. Stephen Dick talks to a crowd about radiation during the Approach Breast Cancer Prevention – From All Angles event on Monday at Avera Queen of Peace hospital in Mitchell. Dick was one of five speakers, who talked about topics relating to breast cancer, ranging from nutrition to mammography. (Sarah Barclay/Republic)1 / 2
Dr. Kathy Naegele, far left, talks to a crowd about the different types of breast cancer during the Approach Breast Cancer Prevention – From All Angles event on Monday at Avera Queen of Peace hospital in Mitchell. Naegele was one of six speakers, who talked about topics relating to breast cancer, ranging from nutrition to mammography. (Sarah Barclay/Republic)2 / 2

All breast cancers are not created equally, according to Kathy Naegele.

Naegele, who specializes in hematology and oncology with the Avera Cancer Institute in Mitchell, was one of six speakers who presented at the Approach Breast Cancer Prevention — from All Angles on Monday Night.

The event, which took place at the community room at the Avera Queen of Peace, attracted a group of 25-30 people listening and learning about all aspects of breast cancer prevention and education.

Naegele's presentation focused on the varying types of breast cancers and their complexities.

The event was a first of its kind in Mitchell according to Tenille Heier, the communications coordinator at Avera, and corresponded with October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The goal, Heier said, was to simply inform people about the breast cancer prevention and education.

"We've been noticing across the Avera system that women are wanting more information about their health and their bodies and a place to let them come and hear a doctor speak without having to make an appointment as a patient," Heier said.

Kelly Smith, an Avera doctor who specializes in diagnostic radiology and radiology, spoke to the group on the importance of mammograms.

In Smith's presentation, he shared varying facts about breast cancer including how one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. But if detected early, Smith said, it is treatable.

Smith said that if every woman in the United States were to get a mammogram, thousands of lives could be saved from early detection of breast cancer.

Smith's point once he finished his brief powerpoint was simple: get a mammogram. Following the event, attendees had the chance to meet with Smith in private to schedule a mammogram on the spot or ask more questions.

Other presenters included Kayla Magee, who spoke on smoking cessation, Nancy Miller, who informed the audience on nutrition, Stephen Dick, who spoke about radiation oncology, and Stephanie Flippin, who shared facts on exercise and its importance.

Flippin, an occupational therapist, encouraged the audience to "just get up and get moving."

Flippin told audience members spoke on the connections between physical activity and cancer. She said research shows that 20 percent of all cancer diagnoses are related to physical inability, body weight or poor nutrition, all of which could be prevented.

She shared tips for how to maintain body weight and how to check your Body Mass Index (BMI).

Seeing the turnout, which filled almost every chair available, Heier said the first-time cancer prevention event was a success and will look into doing more events like this in the future.

"I thought it would be really interesting for people to hear from a variety of experts on different topics and not necessarily hear one person," Heier said.

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