An October Affair at Archbold
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among women besides skin cancer, and it’s the second-leading cause of cancer death.
It was also the most common cancer treated at Archbold’s Singletary Oncology Center last year.
You may have heard this key breast-cancer stat: About one in eight women will develop the disease in her lifetime.
But there’s another number that’s more encouraging: About 2.5 million women living now have survived the disease.
Archbold medical oncologist Penny Heinrich, MD, said, “Fewer U.S. women develop and die from breast cancer as each year goes by. The improvement is likely due to increased screenings and advances in treatment.”
“Finding cancer early, at stage zero or one, improves the chances that treatment will work,” said Heinrich. “That’s why regular cancer screenings are important, so we catch the disease early and in its most treatable stages.”
This month, the Archbold Women’s Center and Singletary Oncology Center are teaming up to host An October Affair, a collaboration of events to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.
A Health Affair
On October 18, the Archbold Women’s Center and Archbold’s Lewis Hall Singletary Oncology Center will host A Health Affair, a free community cancer screening event.
Archbold physicians and clinicians will not only provide free screenings for breast cancer, but early detection of cancer in general. Free screenings offered include cervical, colon, prostate and skin cancer, as well as analyses of blood for risk factors associated with cancer and other diseases.
This event is free to the public, and transportation will be available between the two event locations. For a complete list of screenings, visit www.archbold.org/anoctoberaffair.
Registration for A Health Affair is now closed. We’ve received an overwhelming response from our community and our screening schedule is full.
We plan to have future screening opportunities, and will communicate new dates and times when available.
A Pink Affair
A Pink Affair, the annual cancer survivor fashion show, will take place on October 26. Proceeds will go to a newly created Archbold Foundation fund to cover the cost for those unable to afford a mammogram.
A Pink Affair will be held at the Lewis Hall Singletary Oncology Center at 6:30pm. Tickets are $20 and include admission to the fashion show and food and drinks. Pink cocktail attire is suggested, but not required. To purchase tickets, visit www.archbold.org/anoctoberaffair or call the Archbold Foundation at (229) 228-2924.
$20 Mammograms at the Archbold Women’s Center
During October, screening mammograms are available for $20 (or for $10 if you bring a friend) at the Archbold Women’s Center, Brooks County Hospital, Grady General Hospital and Mitchell County Hospital. A physician’s order is required. If you don’t have a physician, Archbold Primary Care doctors will write the order for you.
For more information on $20 mammograms or to schedule your appointment, call (229) 228-2084.
Doctors don’t always know why one woman develops breast cancer and another doesn’t.
“We know certain factors can increase your risk of developing the disease,” added Heinrich. “Some, such as drinking alcohol, can be changed.”
Heinrich said other numbers that increase the risk may not be as easily altered, including being age 55 or older;having changes in the cancer-related genes BRCA1 or BRCA2;onset of menstruation before age 12; having one or more family members with breast cancer, andnot having children by age 30.
Radiologists at the Archbold Women’s Center say it’s never been more important to remind women to be proactive by scheduling screenings and their regular mammograms (an x-ray exam of the breasts used to detect abnormal changes).
Archbold radiologist John Carico, MD said that mammography performed in combination with clinical breast exams is currently the best method of screening for breast cancer.
“The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that women in their 20’s and 30’s have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a periodic (regular) health exam by a health professional, preferably every three years,” said Carico. “Women should have their first mammogram (a baseline mammogram) at the age of 40 and annually thereafter based on the guidelines set by ACS.”
Carico recommends that women with first degree family history of breast cancer should begin their baseline mammogram earlier, usually 10 years earlier than the age their family member was diagnosed.
“It’s best to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors,” said Carico. “Together, you can choose a screening schedule that’s right for you.”
Carico and Heinrich recommend women perform breast self examinations (BSEs) and report any breast changes to their health professional right away.
To reduce your risk of developing breast cancer, it’s also recommended that women reduce alcohol consumption to less than one a drink a day, exercise four or more hours a week and maintain a healthy weight for your height, especially after menopause.