By Sean Ellis Capital Press NAMPA, Idaho Breast cancer survivor and Capital Press employee JoAnn Vanderwey wants other women to know that early detection of the disease can improve their chance of surviving it. Vanderwey, 52, has survived breast cancer twice, and she credits early detection with helping her survive both ordeals. Do your breast checks, do your mammograms, because early detection is whatÈs going to save your life, said Vanderwey, the Capital Press advertising representative in Idaho. Death could be the other alternative … if you donÈt detect it early enough. According to the American Cancer Society, the death rate for female breast cancer declined by almost 40 percent between 1989 and 2015. These decreases are believed to be the result of finding breast cancer earlier though screening and increased awareness, as well as better treatments, the Cancer Society states on its website. According to the Cancer Society, 1 in 8, or 12 percent, of American women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Vanderwey was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 after she felt a lump during a self-examination and then went in for a mammogram that confirmed the disease. Not everybody does self breast checks but everybody should, she said. She recommends doing them once a week, at least. A mammogram confirmed her second case in February of this year but she did not catch that one with a self breast examination. BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR : Early detection can save your life BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR : Early detection can save your life SEAN ELLIS/CAPITAL PRESS JoAnn Vanderwey, a Capital Press advertising representative in Idaho, is a two-time breast cancer survivor. She wants other women to know that the disease can be successfully treated if detected early enough . It was deep enough in and so small the doctor couldnÈt even feel it, she said. Do your self breast checks but you also have to do a mammogram because not everything can be detected through self examination. A close friend who accompanied her during her breast cancer-related surgery this year had a mammogram done the day Vanderwey went in for surgery and found out she also had breast cancer. She did that because of what I was going through. It saved her life, Vanderwey said. VanderweyÈs breast cancers were nine years apart and different types. Typically they say five years is your safe point once youÈve had cancer, and mine were nine years apart and they were totally different types, she said. Always keep checking; always be on top of it. Vanderwey wants other women to know that breast cancer is not necessarily a death sentence and can be treated successfully, especially if caught early enough. The first time I had breast cancer, I thought it was a death sentence, she said. IÈve now learned enough about breast cancer in the nine years that I know itÈs very curable with early detection. The message is simple, she said: Early detection. Get your mammograms. Save your life.