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A cancer screening saved her life. Have you scheduled yours?

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Breast and cervical cancer, colorectal and lung: cancer screening has come a long way in making what used to be a death sentence, increasingly survivable. But coming out of the pandemic some physicians worry skipped primary care checkups will mean uncaught cancers and potentially grim health outcomes.

Lindsay Schmauss turned 40 in 2021. This put her on the early side of getting her first mammogram to screen for cancer. Schmauss had no symptoms. She had no lumps. And neither side of her family had a history with cancer. Still, she set up an appointment with her doctor.

"I was healthy. Feeling great. I went in because that's what you are supposed to do. And to my shock, the mammogram detected cancer," she said. "My doctor told me if I waited even six months—which would have been easy—It would have been a different conversation completely."

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer digs into this year's Cancer in Iowa report with an eye for what returning to screening can do to prevent Iowans from the dangers of cancer.

At the top of this episode, we check in with IPR's Kassidy Arena about a shooting outside East High School in Des Moines that left one 15-year-old dead and a 16 and an 18-year-old seriously injured. And then, IPR's Grant Gerlock describes the aftermath of a devastating tornado that swept across the state, killing seven people.


  • Kassidy Arena, covers Iowa’s Latino and Spanish-speaking communities for IPR
  • Grant Gerlock, covers central Iowa and education for IPR
  • Lindsay Schmauss, a breast cancer survivor turned cancer screening advocate
  • Mary Charlton, associate professor of epidemiology and director of the State Health Registry of Iowa/Iowa Cancer Registry at the University of Iowa
  • Dr. George Weiner, director of University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Dr. Richard Deming, director of MercyOne Richard Deming Cancer Center
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa