Full Service Westside

Kelly Hendershot, Program Director for Gilda’s Club Quad Cities, which has a branch in Muscatine.

By Kelly Hendershot, Program Director for Gilda’s Club Quad Cities

October – or Pink-tober – is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It’s a time to show support, increase awareness, and to raise research funds. But what about being a pink-tabulous friend this month?
“Cancer in Iowa,” a publication of The University of Iowa College of Public Health, estimated that breast cancer would be the top cancer type in 2018 with 2,400 new breast cancer diagnoses in Iowa women. That’s a one in eight chance that you know someone with a diagnosis. But how can you be a good friend to women and men diagnosed with breast cancer?
Take the time to learn about breast cancer. Gilda’s Club Quad Cities (GCQC) can empower you with knowledge about a diagnosis. Did you know that there are multiple types of breast cancer? Or that, according to Komen Greater Iowa, over 2,000 men in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer?
Stop by GCQC’s Muscatine office (1808 Mulberry Avenue, third floor) and ask Program Manager Kelly Craft for a free copy of one of several free educational tools. Many are available in Spanish. Craft holds office hours at this location from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Thursdays and can be reached at [email protected].
On Thursday, November 8, 2018 from 11:30 – 1:30 pm, Gilda’s Club is hosting Frankly Speaking about Cancer: Metastatic Breast Cancer at First Presbyterian Church (401 Iowa Avenue). In addition to learning about treatment options and side effect management at this free workshop, patients and their loved ones will also learn about ways to cope with the social and emotional challenges of this diagnosis.
Help improve your love one’s quality of life. Offer to attend Gilda’s Club’s free chair yoga class on Thursdays from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. at ISU Extension & Outreach (1514 Isett Avenue) with them. Cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers practice poses focused on bringing relief to some of the more common cancer treatment side effects, including lymphedema, constipation, weakened immune systems, and stress.
Attend one of Live Proof Exhibit’s (LPE) Creative Sessions at the Muscatine Art Center. Creative Sessions are open to anyone impacted by cancer of any artistic skill level and have included Exploring Art, Photography, Medication Bracelets, and Ukulele.
Don’t forget about your previvor friends. A previvor is someone with a predisposing risk to a cancer diagnosis. This can include women and men who carry the BRCA gene, have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, or have dense breasts. Encourage friends to do their own self-awareness exams, question any abnormalities, and follow suggested mammography screening guidelines.
The “Komen Quad Cities 2015 Community Needs Assessment” further indicates that the county has a rising late-state breast cancer diagnosis of 45.5 (as compared to a 43.8 national rate). Screenings and early detection are just as important to quality of life as they are to prevention.
Concerned about paying for screenings? Trinity Muscatine Public Health administers the Care for Yourself (CFY) program, which provides no cost mammograms at participating local clinics for Iowa women ages 40-64.
Now, go be pink-tabulous!

Full Service Westside