Breast cancer. We probably all know someone who has heard that devastating diagnosis — maybe we see them in the mirror every day.
It can strike at any age and it isn’t just a woman’s disease. Every year an estimated 230,000 women and 2,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer.
Some 25 percent of those will later develop advanced (metastatic) breast cancer. This is when the cancer originating in the breast spreads to other parts of the body — the lungs, liver, lymph nodes or brain.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and several Rim Country organizations are making special efforts toward the fight against the disease.
Members of the community are invited to a discussion about breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and the latest research by a special Pink Panel at the Payson Regional Medical Center’s Health Outreach Center (Senior Circle building), 214 N. Beeline Highway. This will also be an opportunity to find out about local resources for cancer patients.
The Pink Panel will convene at both 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 10.
Panelists will include Dr. Cindy Booth, Preferred Women’s Care; Renee Harrigan, PRMC Imaging Center; Dr. Ihor Zakaluzny, Payson Surgery Associates; Professor Heather Cunliff, TGen; and Shirley Grady, American Cancer Society coordinator for the Look Good Feel Better program.
During the event, participants will be walked through a well-woman exam with Booth; and then through a mammogram with Harrigan, who will demonstrate the difference between the old film of a few years ago and the new digital mammography.
Zakaluzny will discuss biopsy, lumpectomy and mastectomy.
Cunliff will speak about her research in breast and ovarian cancers at the molecular level to identify different types so that patients can get customized treatment.
Grady will speak about the American Cancer Society programs for patients in the Payson area.
“Too many times we don’t take the opportunity to empower ourselves with information that can help us make intelligent decisions in the event we or a loved one are faced with breast cancer. We don’t learn until we have to. All women of all ages should take advantage of this seminar, “ said Jan Parsons, coordinator for the PRMC program.
The free event includes refreshments and does not require Senior Circle membership. Reserve a space by calling the Senior Circle at (928) 472-9290 or (928) 468-1012.
Breast Cancer Pillowcase Sew
As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month Quilting Sisters will hold its Third Annual Breast Cancer Pillowcase Sew during which volunteers will embroider travel pillowcases with the words “Live, love and laugh.”
All of the pillowcases will fit travel pillows donated by Quilting Sisters delivered to Rim Country Valley Radiology and Oncology for distribution to patients battling breast or other cancer during 2012.
“This may seem like a small gesture, but it is huge! Patients are now asking when they will receive their own travel pillow and pillowcase. It’s just a little something to let them know others care about them, their fight and determination during their treatment and beyond,” said Lois English who helps Quilting Sisters owner Cheryl Dolby with the project.
Meet at Quilting Sisters, 904 N. Beeline Highway, Payson, at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 6 and plan to stay until the project is done.