Live Well: Women’s Health

Editorial StaffSeptember 1, 2023
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Presented by

American Cancer Society

Valley health care professionals help women along every part of their personal wellness journeys, from dental to mental.

Grab Your Girls & Get Screened

The American Cancer Society Encourages Women to Grab Your Girls, Get Screened, and Join the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Movement.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Female breast cancer has become the most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide, but thanks to earlier detection and improved treatment, the number of women dying of breast cancer has declined by 42 percent over the last three decades. The American Cancer Society’s “Grab Your Girls” campaign encourages women to hold each other accountable for getting screened by making it a group activity.

A recent study by the organization showed that in 2020, during the height of the COVID pandemic, there was a 6% drop in the number of women who reported having a breast cancer screening within the past year.   This amounts to more than 2 million women across the U.S. who are not up-to-date on their breast health.  

“Our simple message is this – breast cancer screening saves lives,” says Ashley DeGooyer, senior executive director of the American Cancer Society Arizona. “Screening is safe and effective and should be a regular part of your life. It keeps you informed about the state of your health even if you don’t have any symptoms, and catching cancer early allows effective treatment options to be identified.”

While early detection and treatment are saving more lives than ever, health inequalities cause breast cancer to disproportionately impact Black people. Among Black women, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and has surpassed lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer death.

The American Cancer Society recommends annual breast cancer screening beginning at age 45, with the option to begin at age 40.

It’s easy to make your next group gathering a self-care celebration.

• If you’re a woman age 45 or older, start your own tradition of self-care with your circle of gals. Make sure your friends, sisters, mother, aunts, cousins, coworkers – all your girls over 45 – get their mammograms by scheduling a group screening day.

• It doesn’t matter if you live in the same town or across the country from each other – you can still make it a group experience. Invite your gals to look at their calendars and choose four or five days where they would be free for screening.

• Mammogram party, anyone? When you get your girlfriends and relatives together to get screened, you can turn an annual appointment – something that’s all too easy to put off, with our busy lives and hectic schedules – into a yearly celebration you look forward to.
One that could save your life.

• Nominate one group lead who will call the nearest screening location to schedule the appointments (

• Plan a fun bonding activity for before or after the screening. If you live in the same city, you can enjoy a great meal, go on a hike or bike ride, see a movie, or get manicures and pedicures – anything the group would enjoy. If you live far away from each other, you can have coffee or wine over Zoom and catch up on each other’s lives.

• Schedule next year’s screening before you leave the screening location. Yearly screenings are the best way to catch breast cancer early, when it’s easier to treat successfully. Learn how screening saves lives at

After getting screened, take it one step further and Grab Your Girls and head out to Tempe Beach Park on Saturday, October 28th for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Phoenix (MSABC) event. This year’s event celebrates 25 years of saving lives, remembering loved ones and funding the future of breast cancer research. The noncompetitive 5K walk around Tempe Town Lake provides a supportive community for courageous breast cancer survivors and thrivers, caregivers, and families alike.

“Over the last 25 years, Making Strides of Phoenix has become the state’s largest and most impactful breast cancer event,” said Coleen McKinstry, associate development director with the American Cancer Society. “Through Making Strides, we are funding critical research and life-saving programs that will ensure a brighter future for everyone who is impacted by breast cancer.”

For more than 30 years, the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer has united communities in the nation’s largest movement to end breast cancer as we know it, for everyone. There are many ways to get involved in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Phoenix:

Be the movement by signing up for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Community members can join in saving lives, remembering loved ones and funding the future of breast cancer research and programs by joining the nation’s largest and most impactful breast cancer movement. Leading up to October, participants can raise funds to reach a suggested personal goal of [$100] or more, then attend an event in celebration of
those efforts.

Be the hope by sponsoring the Making Strides movement. Participants can also become corporate leaders in their community to ensure local survivors and thrivers are celebrated and honored during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Be the future by donating. Community members can also help fund the important work of the American Cancer Society by making a donation. Every dollar received is dedicated to ending breast cancer as we know it. Donations can be made by visiting

For more information or to register your team, visit Join the movement and be the hope to help end breast cancer as we know it, for everyone.

3 Gynecologic Cancer Care Breakthroughs with Oncologists Shana Wingo and Snehal Bhoola

Shana Wingo and Snehal Bhoola are esteemed gynecologic oncologists at Cancer & Blood Specialists of Arizona, which has six clinics throughout the Valley. These talented doctors address a wide spectrum of gynecologic malignancies including cervical, uterine, ovarian, endometrial and vulvar cancers. They’re both a part of various medical societies and are associate clinical professors at the University of Arizona School of Medicine in Phoenix. Wingo and Bhoola are at the forefront of women’s health advancements, treating patients with novel therapies, robotic surgeries and cutting-edge care.

1. Immunotherapy enhances a patient’s immune system so it can detect and attack cancer cells. It’s used for both endometrial and cervical cancer for front-line treatment based on molecular testing, meaning it’s tailored to patients on a molecular level and offers the most individualized care possible.

2. Oral therapy is becoming a more prevalent cancer treatment. Patients with BRCA gene mutations and homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) can be given PARP Inhibitor drugs to stop cancer cells from repairing themselves, causing malignant cells to die.

3. With new therapies and methods of treatment, there is enough data to reduce the number of radical surgeries performed for cervical and uterine cancers. Moving away from invasive surgeries means that patients no longer have to suffer long-term, life-altering side effects, including sentinel lymph node biopsies.

Wingo and Bhoola understand that cancer treatment isn’t one-size-fits-all. The doctors build a strong connection with each patient to ensure the best quality of life possible both during and after treatments. With the use of recent breakthroughs in gynecologic oncology, the doctors are able to maximize recovery and minimize the discomfort frequently caused by traditional cancer treatment.

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