Susan G. Komen assesses breast cancer in South Dakota
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Susan G. Komen President and CEO Judith Salerno says the money raised to fight breast cancer is a must. She says more than 100 people in South Dakota will die from the disease this year.
"We can do better. We must do better. And, we're working very hard as an organization with our health systems to make improvements in those statistics," said Salerno.
One of those improvements is something Sanford clinical researcher Kristi Egland has been working on.
"Our lab is trying to generate a blood test for breast cancer, and we want to use the immune system of a patient as a bio-sensor," said Egland.
For Egland this research is incredibly personal.
"Every day that I wake up I'm able to continue the battle to fight against breast cancer. I know why I'm doing the research. And, the questions I'm asking are the questions I had when I went through the process," said Egland.
The hope is that the blood test could detect recurrence. That sort of success is what the Komen organization is seeking. Unfortunately, it's not being mimicked throughout South Dakota.
"But, the availability is uneven across the state. So, that's something we really can address," said Solerno. "Komen is working actively to improve that situation."