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Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer’

Riverwood offers lymphedema therapy

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Monica Bostrom, Registered Physical Therapist

Monica Bostrom, Registered Physical Therapist

Monica Bostrom, registered physical therapist at Riverwood Healthcare Center, recently completed specialized training to become a certified lymphedema therapist.

Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in the arms or legs. Although lymphedema tends to affect just one arm or leg, sometimes both arms or both legs may be swollen. Lymphedema is caused by a blockage in your lymphatic system, an important part of the immune and circulatory systems. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and as the fluid builds up, the swelling continues. Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment.

“The goal of lymphedema therapy is to restore function, reduce physical discomfort and prevent the development of infection,” Bostrom explains. “The treatment is aimed at improving lymphedema with manual lymphatic drainage, massage, exercise, and special bandaging.  Sometimes wearing compression garments are needed to maintain the results."

With more than 20 years of experience, Bostrom offers outpatient therapy at Riverwood and also has specialized training in the treatment of neurological disorders, dizziness and balance disorders, wound care and chronic pain.

In addition to lymphedema therapy, Riverwood offers full-service physical therapy services at all three of its clinics in Aitkin, Garrison and McGregor. Some of these services include treatment of back, neck and other sprains and strains, rehabilitation following total joint replacement, manual therapies such as muscle energy techniques and myofascial release, balance and gait training, specialty treatment in jaw pain and vertigo, and therapy for athletic injuries.

Join Breast Health Alliance team for Brainerd Lakes race

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

A woman’s lifetime risk by age 85 of getting breast cancer is one in eight. Lend your support in a global movement to end breast cancer forever.

The Cuyuna Riverwood Breast Health Alliance is organizing a team for the annual Brainerd Lakes Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® to be held Saturday, June 29, 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. at Forestview Middle School in Baxter.

The 14th Annual Komen Brainerd Lakes Race for the Cure includes a 5K Race, 5K Walk, and 1-mile Walk as well as a 'Spirit Runner' category for those who are unable to participate physically. Also, 2-10 year olds can race as Kids for the Cure® at age-appropriate distances and can enter another event for a single fee. Register online at and select “Breast Health Alliance Team Aitkin” or “Breast Health Alliance Team Crosby”. Fees for participants range from $12 for children 2 to 10 years old to $20 to $25 for adults, depending on the activity chosen. Registration fees increase after June 21.

The first 2,400 people registered will receive a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure race t-shirt. Those registering with Team Aitkin or Team Crosby will also receive a Breast Health Alliance bandana. All participants will be able to enjoy free refreshments and giveaways at the race.

Distribution of participant packets will be handled according to location by Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Crosby and Riverwood Healthcare in Aitkin. Or, participants may pick up their packet on race day at the Breast Health Alliance tent.

For Team Aitkin race registration questions and information, please contact Amy Renner, team captain and breast health care coordinator, at (218) 429-3975. Riverwood will have Team Aitkin participant packets available for pick up at the hospital in Aitkin on Friday, June 28. Team Crosby participant packets will be available for pick up at CRMC in Crosby on Friday, June 28, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. For Team Crosby race registration questions and information, please contact Julie Hella, team captain at (218) 546-7000.

All proceeds from the event stay in the Susan G. Komen Minnesota Affiliate. Seventy-five percent of the dollars go toward community grants and 25 percent are dedicated to breast cancer research. Susan G. Komen for the Cure provided an $80,000 grant to fund educational outreach, free breast exams and mammogram screenings and other services provided by the Cuyuna Riverwood Breast Health Alliance in 2012. For more information on the Breast Health Alliance comprehensive and coordinated breast health services, go to

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Susan G. Komen for the Cure grant to Foundation

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Grant will support Cuyuna Riverwood Breast Health Alliance

 Riverwood Foundation has received an $80,000 grant from the Minnesota Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. The award supports breast health education and awareness, community and patient education, screening and advanced diagnostics and individualized care through the Cuyuna Riverwood Breast Health Alliance (BHA) partnership between Riverwood Healthcare Center and Cuyuna Regional Medical Center.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Mission Manager, Denise Blumberg-Tendle shared her enthusiasm for the project: “We are very excited about this grant and the work that can be achieved in our continued efforts to move ever closer to fulfilling the promise of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.”

BHA will use the grant monies for breast health awareness, community and patient education, and one-on-one consultation for breast cancer patients. The impact of this program is significant in that it will improve the delivery of breast health care services both in terms of quality and the availability of care from screening to diagnosis, treatment and beyond.

Jodie Johnson, interim executive director for Riverwood Foundation, says: “Susan G. Komen has been a key partner in promoting innovative programs to address breast health. We are pleased that they are once again investing in breast health services to ensure quality care for women in this region of Minnesota.”

The Cuyuna Riverwood Breast Health Alliance is an innovative partnership between neighboring healthcare organizations Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin and Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby. In addition to one-on-one support from breast health care coordinators, the alliance offers expert screening and diagnostic care and expanded treatment options through its collaboration with the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute.

Riverwood Foundation was one of just 19 organizations statewide to receive funding from the Minnesota Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. For more information on the local Breast Health Alliance, go to

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Breast cancer screening, mammography

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Carol Bergen, Clinical Manager, Piper Breast Center, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute, Abbott Northwestern Hospital

When it comes to breast cancer screening, don’t skip a year. If you’re a woman 40 years or older, get a clinical breast exam and mammogram annually.

This message was delivered by Carol Bergen, clinical manager of the Piper Breast Center® of the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute®, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, at a January 26 women’s wellness seminar hosted by Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin.  She was instrumental in the planning and development of the Center when it opened 17 years ago and previously worked at a nurse leader in oncology arenas.

Bergen advised that the United States Preventive Services Task Force created a lot of confusion and controversy when it announced its recommendation in November 2009 that women 50 and older only need to get a mammogram every other year and that women in their 40s may not need them pending discussions with their healthcare providers.

Bergen guided the group of nearly 100 women at the seminar through the pro’s and con’s of the mammography controversy.

“While it’s not perfect and doesn’t detect every type of breast cancer, mammography is the best screening tool we have,” Bergen said. “The dose of radiation for a mammogram is very small and similar to the amount of radiation exposure in taking a flight from the east coast to the west coast and back again.”

Research studies have shown a dramatic decline in deaths from breast cancer of about 30 percent from 1989 to 2007 due to a combination of factors but primarily due to mammography screening and improved treatment. If this trend continues, it’s predicted that the decline in breast cancer deaths may rise to about 50 percent by 2015.

“Mammography screening is really making a difference,” Bergen added. “We’re now catching breast cancer at stage 0 instead of stages 3 and 4. When breast cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages, we are seeing a cure rate of 97 to 98 percent.”

Bergen said that the Piper Breast Center endorses the American Cancer Society breast cancer screening guidelines for women:


Bergen presented an overview of the diagnostic and treatment services and technological advances available to breast cancer patients today. She also advised on risk factors and breast changes to watch for that can signal the presence of cancer.

After touring the hospital in Aitkin and meeting with nurses and healthcare professionals who coordinate services through the Cuyuna Riverwood Breast Health Alliance earlier in the day, Bergen advised seminar participants:

“For excellent breast cancer care, you don’t have to come to a larger facility like the Piper Breast Center. You have wonderful care right here.”

 Door prize winners were Paulette Anderson, who won a large gift basket filled with comfort items, and Deb Otto, who received a $20 gift certificate for a Circles of Hope bracelet, sold by Evie Ladd of Palisade to raise money locally for the fight against cancer. She donated 30 percent of the bracelet sales at the seminar to Riverwood.

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Donation for breast cancer patients

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Riverwood Foundation presented a check for $1,000 to Ruth’s Free Wig Closet on behalf of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The dollars will be used to provide free wigs and beauty consultation to women undergoing treatment for breast cancer in Aitkin, Mille Lacs and Crow Wing Counties. For more information on Ruth’s Free Wig Closet, visit

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Riverwood Healthcare to offer digital mammography

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Digital mammography offers enhanced technology for breast cancer screening. And it will be available in Aitkin, Garrison and McGregor soon.

Riverwood Healthcare Center is making the transition from film mammography to digital mammography at its hospital in Aitkin and Garrison and McGregor clinics this summer. Digital mammography is filmless and available immediately on a computer monitor for analysis by a radiologist.

“While Riverwood has always offered mammography services, the addition of digital mammography is one more step to help patients access advanced care for breast abnormalities or cancer close to home,” says Mike Delfs, Riverwood chief operating officer. “Through our Breast Health Alliance with Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, we’ve also made other advanced diagnostic services--breast MRI and stereotactic breast biopsy--available locally in the past year.”

During the installation period, mammography services will be unavailable for about a week at each location and offered at the other two according to the schedule here.
• June 20-29: Installation at in Aitkin; mammography available at Garrison and McGregor clinics.
• July 11-20: Installation in McGregor; mammography available in Aitkin or Garrison.
• July 18-27: Installation in Garrison: mammography available in Aitkin or McGregor.
“Our mammography staff is very excited to begin offering our patients this advanced technology with enhanced image capabilities for breast cancer screening,” says Julie Siemers, Radiology manager.

How digital mammography works
Film mammography uses x-ray to record images on film using an x-ray cassette. Films are then developed and produced and read by a radiologist. With digital mammography, the x-rays produce a digital image on a computer screen while the patient is still in position. The technologist then has the ability to review these immediately to determine image quality.

With a digital mammogram, the breast image can be read and stored electronically in digital format, and may also converted from a digital image to film for reading and storage. In either case, the images can be compared from exam to exam and from digital to film.

Mammogram screening saves lives
“Mammograms are so vital in the early detection of breast cancer because they can identify tumors while they are still very small, long before they can be felt or spread,” explains Amy Renner, RN, breast health care coordinator for Riverwood who offers one-on-one support to breast cancer patients. “If you’re a woman 40 years or older, be sure to get your clinical breast exam and mammogram annually—or at an earlier age if you have other risk factors.”

If you don’t have any symptoms for breast cancer, mammography could save your life or the life of someone you know. According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, approximately one in every eight women develops breast cancer during the course of her lifetime. It’s estimated that one-third of all breast cancer deaths in the U.S. each year could be prevented by early detection. Nine out of 10 women can survive breast cancer if the disease is detected at its earliest stages. Breast cancer ranks second as the cause of cancer deaths in American women and claims more than 40,000 lives each year.

For those who don't have health insurance or have a high deductible plan that doesn't cover mammograms, the Sage program, funded by the Minnesota Department of Health, offers free breast and cervical cancer screening. For more information on income eligibility and enrolling in this program, contact Cathy Richardson at Riverwood at (218) 927-8272, ext. 3652.

For an appointment for a breast exam and mammogram at any Riverwood clinic, call (888) 270-1882.

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