Los Gatos: Free self-exam shower cards: it’s one woman’s fight against breast cancer

The frequency and age that women should have mammograms is often debated, but what’s not under debate is the need for women to perform self examinations.

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 39,000 U.S. women will die from the disease this year, so early detection is considered a lifesaver.

That’s where self exams and Los Gatos businesswoman Karen Dayton come together. Dayton is giving away breast exam cards that hang in the shower as a reminder to women to perform a self examination once a month. The cards demonstrate how to perform a self examination.

Dayton owns the Rocks Blow Dry Bar in the Trader Joe’s shopping center at 15466 Los Gatos Blvd., which is where women can go to pick up a shower card.

“I feel so strongly about doing this so women have a better chance of early detection and successful treatment,” Dayton said.

Dayton feels so strongly because her oldest sister died from breast cancer in 2010. “I wanted to do something to honor her,” Dayton said. “If we can reach one person and they find their own lump at an earlier stage, then hallelujah. Having the card staring at you every morning in the shower will encourage women to do the exams and take control of their breast health.”

Dayton’s sister missed a mammogram and did not perform self exams. The family has no prior history of breast cancer.

Dayton started giving out the cards in October, which was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and has distributed about 250 of the 500 she ordered. She’s considering ordering more.

“We’ve had an amazing response,” Dayton said. “One woman came in to get her hair done for a wedding and we talked about her sister missing the wedding because she died from breast cancer. It’s a trickle-down that affects everyone in a family.”

So Dayton hopes her contribution will make a difference in women’s lives. “They say eight out of 10 women find their own lump,” she said. “You have to get your mammograms, but self exams in between are so important. You can’t just check once a year–a lot of things can happen in a year.”

Visit rocksblowdrybar.com for salon hours, or call 408.702.2322.

See the article on the San Jose Mercury News website!

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