Temple doctor strives to identify women who may be susceptible to developing breast cancer. Plus: We take a look at some of the city's hidden history in a new feature called "What Happened Here?"
MONDAY DECEMBER 13, 2021
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Thirteen percent of American women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime and an estimated 281,550 new cases will be diagnosed this year, but a Temple clinic is fighting to trim those numbers.
Since 1992, the High Risk Breast Clinic — part of the Vasicek Cancer Treatment Center at Baylor Scott & White in Temple — has been monitoring women who are at-risk for developing breast cancer.
“We evaluate women who don’t have breast cancer but think they are at high risk,” said Dr. Kathy Kimmey, internal medicine specialist and director of the clinic.
“Our program monitors women who may be high-risk due to family history or other factors,” she said. “Only a small percentage of women are considered to be at high risk because of genetic mutation.”
The Temple high-risk clinic began as part of a nationwide study to determine if the drug Tamoxifen could reduce the risks of breast cancer.
“One of the oncologists at the time asked me to help enroll women in the study,” Dr. Kimmey said. “The women in the study were healthy — they didn’t have breast cancer.”
The study proved the drug was an effective cancer deterrent, and soon Dr. Kimmey and the Scott & White cancer staff were asked to conduct a similar study on another drug — Raloxifene. It, too, proved to be an effective weapon for reducing breast-cancer risks.
“I knew a lot of women have a high risk of developing breast cancer, so I convinced the hospital to continue the clinic through the Vasicek Cancer Treatment Center,” she said.
“If a woman thinks she may be at-risk and comes into the clinic, we go over her medical history and family history.” Dr. Kimmey continued. “We use the GAIL model to determine her risk of developing breast cancer during her lifetime.”
The GAIL model is a computer program that uses personal and family medical history information to estimate a woman's chance of developing breast cancer.
“If the woman is found to be at high risk, we talk about methods of reducing that risk. There are medications — Tamoxifen, Roloxifene and newer drugs exemestane and anastrozole — that can help, along with regular exercise, controlling body weight and limiting alcohol consumption.”
While cases of breast cancer caused by family histories or genetic mutations are rare, they do occur.
“If I suspect that these factors are present, I refer the patient to Dr. Blazo for genetic testing,” Kimmey said.
Dr. Maria Blazo is a medical geneticist at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, uses blood and saliva testing to search for mutations in genes that may lead to disease.
According to Dr. Blazo, genetic tests determine if a patient is likely to develop any of several types of cancers and help physicians formulate a preventive game plan.
“Tests are available for several types of cancer, especially breast, prostate and colon cancers,” she said.
“Cancer can be due to an inherited risk, and we all have genetic determinants to diseases,” Dr. Blazo said. “About 10 percent of breast cancer has a genetic mutation that’s passed through the family.”
Based on the outcome of the genetic tests, Dr. Kimmey determines the next step toward lowering the risks of developing breast cancer.
That “next step” could involve additional screenings, including ultrasound, MRI and or a specialized screening mammogram; genetic counseling and education, a personalized monitoring plan; and, if needed, referral to a surgeon.
Dr. Kimmey said there are several factors that could lead to a person being high-risk for breast cancer.
“Age, reproductive history and breast density can all be factors,” she said. “Dense breasts make it more difficult to interpret a mammogram. It’s like looking through a glass of muddy water — it limits what you can see.”
“If a woman has dense breasts, we can use an MRI to get a clearer picture — it can see through dense breasts very well.”
While inherited forms of breast cancer are rare, they do occur, Dr. Kimmey said.
“Most of the time, breast cancer in a family is sporadic, not genetic,” she said. “But if a first-degree relative — the mother, a daughter or a sister — has a history, there may be an issue. If a male in the patient’s family has breast cancer, he needs to be genetically tested.”
Dr. Kimmey said if MRI’s or ultrasounds are needed, the patient is sent to Baylor Scott & White’s radiology department.
“The radiologists work closely with our oncologists and the High Risk Breast Clinic.”
Dr. Kimmey said it is important for Central Texas women to know that the clinic is here and it is available.
“A woman can get a referral from her primary-care physician or she can refer herself. We are more than happy to see any woman who has questions regarding her risk of developing breast cancer.”
Hundreds of Temple-area residents didn’t let a little chilly weather keep them from enjoying Saturday’s Holiday Market & Food Truck Frenzy downtown. The event is a throw-back to the early days of Temple. In the late 1800s, farmers and vendors gathered in this same location to sell and trade produce, crafts and animals. For more information, keep reading.
WHAT HAPPENED HERE?
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Temple is full of history and we drive or walk past it every day, usually without giving it much thought.
Today Our Town Temple is launching a new occasional feature similar to the popular “Postcards from the Past,” and we will learn a little about the places we all take for granted.
The new feature will be called “What Happened Here?” I will take photos of buildings around town, and write a short story about the structure’s historical significance. In some instances, the original building may no longer be standing.
To kick this off, I present an extended version of “What Happened Here?”
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Early in Temple’s history the land now used as a parking lot just west of City Hall was the heart of the city.
Deals were made here, farmers sold produce, crafts and animals, and people enjoyed the peace of a city park. In the middle of the park was the magnificent Carnegie Library. Built in 1904, the library was a gathering spot for various rallies and meetings, and it served as the birthplace for state and local organizations.
Booker T. Washington came to town in 1912 at the invitation of black businessman Robert Wells, and he addressed Temple residents at the Carnegie. Washington actually was returning a favor: Well has served as keynote speaker in 1911 at the 12th annual National Negro Business League in Little Rock at Washington’s request. Washington returned the favor the following year with his Temple visit.
The next year, the Texas League of Nursing Education was organized during a convention at the Carnegie, and nurses from King’s Daughters Hospital and Temple Sanitarium (later renamed Scott & White) were leaders in this new organization.
The League would help set standards still used today for nursing education and licensing.
In 1914, the seeds for the Texas Forestry Association were planted at this location, many miles from any Texas forest.
W. Goodrich Jones, a New Yorker who came to Temple in 1888 as a banker, set a goal when he arrived in the barren city — plant trees. The few trees that were in Temple at the time of its founding were cut down to make room for streets, homes, businesses and churches.
Jones planted thousands of new trees in Temple, and legend has it the first planted was a pecan tree set in soil at this location. Jones was a founder of Texas Arbor Day, and he was asked by the U.S. Forestry Service to survey the state’s forest resources. He did, and his findings resulted in the formation of the Texas Forestry Association during a gathering at — you guessed it — the Carnegie Library.
The Carnegie was lost to fire in 1918, and a decade passed before the Temple Municipal Building — City Hall — was erected on eastern edge of the block.
Today, the land west of City Hall is used primarily for employee and visitor parking. Occasionally, events are held at the location. On Saturday, about 100 vendors and food trucks set up here for Holiday Market & Food Truck Frenzy.
Charles S. Cox and his wife, the former Annie Pearl Burge, opened C.S. Cox & Son Men’s Clothing in 1903 on Avenue A. The popular store carried hats, shirts, shoes and even custom-made clothing. Business was brisk, and Cox moved the store to 8 S. Main Street in 1907.
The store was known for a banner that was hung out every day, reading “Mother Expects Her Son to be a Man.” I’m not sure what that was all about.
The couple ran the store for 49 years, and Charles also was a longtime member of the Temple School Board.
Temple’s banking industry had a humble start in a crude wooden building where brothers Pinckney and Flavius Downs opened Bell County Bank on Jan. 10, 1882. The bank started with $10,000 delivered to Temple from Waco by horse and buggy. Through mergers and growth, Bell County Bank evolved into First National Bank and later, Extraco Banks.
First National hired a well-known Fort Worth architectural firm — Sanguinet & Staats — to design its first building, a two-story stone structure with bas-relief eagles. The landmark building was replaced by the existing “skyscraper” — 18 S. Main — because of continued growth.
Across Main Street from the Extraco Banks tower is a modest two-story building that served as the birthplace for Temple Sanitarium and Scott & White.
Drs. Arthur C. Scott and Raleigh R. White began their partnership on the second floor of 19 S. Main in 1897. By 1904, they had established Temple Sanitarium, which was later renamed after the founders.
From this humble start, the hospital has evolved into Baylor Scott & White Health, one of the nation’s largest medical systems.
The downstairs of the 19 S. Main building was home of Farmers State Bank from 1911 to 1931.
This modified Victorian clapboard house at 804 N. 13th Street is one of Temple’s oldest existing homes. It was built in about 1886, and was purchased by Larkin “Chris” Strange in 1896.
Strange co-owned Strange & Vaden Real Estate and Insurance, and dabbled in horticulture. His garden attracted early Temple residents with red and yellow climbing rose bushes.
After his wife, Mollie, died in 1908, he married Olive Barnett, a local teacher, artist and poet. She became Bell County’s first Poet Laureate and painted Central Texas landscapes that were exhibited at the State Fair and Waco’s Cotton Palace.
The wood-framed church at 601 S. Main Street is Temple’s oldest church building still in use and one of the oldest buildings in town.
When Temple was established in 1881, the Santa Fe Railway offered free downtown lots to every denomination that agreed to erect a building.
This structure was built in 1882 as Friedens (Peace) Church of the Evangelical Association, and it served for 80 years as an Evangelical Free church. After a stint as Grace United Methodist Church, it became home to Inglesia Bautista Alfa Y Omega, a Baptist church. The gothic-style building stands as an important reminder of Temple’s cultural heritage.
AROUND TOWN: BETWEEN THE CARS
Landmark skyscrapers — the Professional Building and the Hawn Hotel — can be seen between two train cars passing through the railroad crossing on South Main Street. Both buildings are being renovated into apartment buildings, but both also will house shops, restaurants and offices on their ground floors. David Stone | Our Town Temple
POSTCARDS FROM THE PAST
Here’s a postcard featuring Temple’s Carnegie Library, commonly called The Carnegie. I thought this postcard would be a nice tie-in to today’s premier of “What Happened Here.”
While obviously lacking in quality, this postcard is important because it’s an extremely early version of direct mail advertising. The postcard ad says it is “Compliments of C.J. Daniel, Furniture & Buggies” and is postmarked 1910. L.G. Sims, who moved his family all the way from Birdsdale to Temple, opened the store at 124 S. Main Street. He sold groceries and general merchandise. Birdsdale was located on land that is now part of Sammons Golf Course, and that community was swallowed by a growing Temple. At its peak, Birdsdale had a post office, a school, a church and several stores.