From football fields to cereal boxes, the color pink can be found on just about everything throughout the month of October – National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Behind the pink is a clear message and reminder to women of all ages to be proactive through self-breast examinations and mammograms.
Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2011, about 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women and 39,520 women will die from the disease.
In 2011, Shady Grove Adventist and Washington Adventist Hospitals received a nearly $1 million grant from Susan G. Komen for the Cure to help with the “Navigate to Health: Rapid Referral Program” for the next four years. The program is designed to decrease the time of referral, screening, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. It also helps increase the number of mammograms and educational services to local, underserved women, as well as enhancing the follow-up process for those with positive results.
Remember, it is important to be proactive through self-breast exams every month, not just during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I recommend if you discover something unusual, you consult your physician. For women 40 and older, be preventative and take the time to schedule a yearly mammogram. To learn more about Washington Adventist Hospital’s Cancer Care services, visit http://www.washingtonadventisthospital.com/WAH/services/oncology/.