The Times West Virginian

Opinion

October 5, 2012

October is month to stand together in strong fight to beat breast cancer

Chances are, you know someone who has been affected.

Maybe you’ve fought the disease yourself.

But with nearly 230,000 new cases of breast cancer expected to be diagnosed this year, the need for awareness, research, funding and, most importantly, a cure, has never been greater.

It’s no wonder the push for pink, breast cancer awareness’ signature color, is so strong in October. After all, the month is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month each year, and it becomes nearly impossible to go anywhere or do anything without seeing something pink: Pink labels. Pink signs. Pink clothing.

Pink is everywhere.

That means it’s on everyone’s minds, and that’s the whole point. Generating awareness is one way to help make sure our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our grandmas, our aunts, our neighbors, our friends and our co-workers know that if they ever hear those four dreaded words — “You have breast cancer” — we will be united in the fight with them.

People in Marion County are certainly engaged in the fight.

On Thursday, the Mastectomy Boutique, located at Rider Pharmacy in Fairmont, hosted a breast cancer survivor open house in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

During the open house, a representative from Amoena World Wide, a leading manufacturer of breast-shaped forms and garments for post-surgery patients, was available for questions. Participants also had the opportunity to buy chances on a pink basket full of products such as jewelry, soap and candles that was to be raffled off, with all the proceeds going to a local Relay for Life team in Marion County.

There are plenty of other events and campaigns spreading the word as well, not just here in Marion County, but throughout the state and nation, and there’s no shortage of resources and programs for a woman fac­ing the diagnosis, for a survivor who has fought against the awful disease, even for the legions of women taking proactive steps for their health.

Some of those women taking proactive steps for their health will undoubtedly be at Fairmont General Hospital’s annual Women’s Health Awareness Day. The event, scheduled from 4-8 p.m. today in and around the Hamilton Conference Room, will feature a number of free health screenings such as clinical breast exams, Pap tests, EKGs, bone density, blood pressure, body fat index, and screenings for carotid artery disease and skin cancer. All are free, and most are walk-in. Appointments are needed for the Pap tests, mammograms, EKGs and carotid artery screenings. There will also be speakers and information tables.

This will be the seventh year the hospital has hosted the event, and attendance continues to go up, according to Tricia Julian, Fairmont General’s pro­gram coordinator for oncology services.

“Last year, we had in excess of 160 or 170 people that came through,” Julian said. “That was not a count on how many people came through the screenings, but how many visited different educational booths and participated in some of the screenings.”

So whether you know someone who has been diagnosed, you’re a proud survivor or you’re simply taking every step possible to reduce your risk, October is the month to stand together in the fight against breast cancer.

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