Transcript Staff Writer

It's round and tasty and it has amazing powers.

The Pink Ribbon Bagel from Panera Bread is an unexpected tasty treat from the Norman Regional Health Foundation for women who undergo mammograms in the month of October to help promote National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"They taste good too," said Marilyn Geiger, executive director of the foundation, who said she hopes the bagels provide a little bit of motivation for women to get mammograms. "The sooner you find something if it's there, the better. It's hugely important."

The bagels have little chunks of cherry laced throughout the dough and are hand-shaped like a ribbon. And for each Pink Ribbon Bagel sold in October, the eight Oklahoma City-metro area Panera Bread restaurants donate 25 cents to the Project Woman Coalition, Inc.

Last year, there were more than 18,000 Pink Ribbon Bagels sold in the district for a donation of $4,700, said Aubrey Iasiello, Panera Bread marketing relations manager. This year, the goal is 22,000 Pink Ribbon Bagels.

The bagel was developed in Oklahoma by the owner of Tulsa's Panera Bread locations, Sue Stees, a breast cancer survivor.

Norman Regional Hospital is projected to provide digital mammogram services to about 1,500 patients this month.

Of those, between 80 and 100 will be called back for additional testing, Geiger said.

"In some of those who undergo more tests, no abnormality will be found or something other than cancer will be identified. In eight to 10 of them, a cancer will be identified. Thankfully, Norman Regional has the capability to treat those patients quickly and thoroughly," Geiger said.

Dr. Denise Rable is the medical director at Norman Regional's Breast Care Center and is fellowship-trained in diseases of the breast.

"It's the latest and greatest technology in imaging," Rable said of Norman Regional's digital equipment. "The pictures are clear. That's how I'm having mine done."

Rable said they recommend appointments but because the digital mammograms only require about 15 minutes, often clients can be worked into the schedule with minimal notice.

She said the three ways most breast cancers are found are through monthly breast self examinations or BSEs by the patient, annual physician examinations or by an annual mammogram screening.

Mammograms can be scheduled by calling 307-2600.

It's the sixth year the Pink Ribbon Bagel breast cancer benefit has been done and the second year it's gone nationwide in all Panera Breads.

In Norman, Panera Bread has partnered with the Norman Regional Health Foundation and will have another day where they donate 10 percent of their proceeds to the foundation.

Carol Cole-Frowe


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