October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Miss Iowa U-S-A is on a crusade to make Iowa women better informed — by offering details of her own close brush with breast cancer. Lauren Wilson is on the road all this month, trying to spread the message that the best defense against breast cancer is early detection, through self-exams, physician exams and mammograms. It was about a year ago the Bettendorf native discovered a suspicious lump on one of her breasts — at 20 years old. Wilson is now 21 and is a University of Iowa student majoring in International Marketing. She says she knew the lump was nothing to trifle with. It looked like a mole at first but became discolored and grew larger. She went to the doctor and had the lump surgically removed and learned it was -not- cancerous. In fact, eight out of ten breast lumps are -not- cancerous. Still, 23-hundred Iowa women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 500 will die from it. Wilson says a woman should start doing self-exams as early as 20 and every three years, between 20 and 30, they should be examined by a physician. By 40, mammograms should be an annual ritual. Wilson will represent Iowa in the Miss U-S-A pageant in February on C-B-S T-V. Her platform focuses on womens health issues.
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