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PMH employees wore pink October 9 in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Day and Month. Pictured, front, l to r: Cheryl Cain, Donna Lidel-Burley, Barbara Campbell, Yvette Rider, Ashley Pritt, Kathy Irvine. Second row: Edwina Garber, Staci Burns, Michelle Deeds, Lori Hunt, Angela Williamson. Third row: Reba Arbogast, Ashley Hammons, Kristi Shisler and Joyce Doss. PMH photo

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pocahontas Memorial Hospital employees – men and women alike – wore pink October 9 to raise awareness of breast cancer.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and, on Wednesday, breast cancer survivor Cheryl Cain read a proclamation declaring it Breast Cancer Awareness Day at the hospital.

Cain, who was diagnosed with breast cancer more than two years ago, completed dozens of rounds of radiation before being declared cancer free. She spoke about her experience and implored the women in attendance to get regular mammograms.

Donna Lidel-Burley, a family nurse practitioner at the hospital, also spoke about her experience with breast cancer. A pink-bedecked wreath was hung on the front door and Barbara Campbell, a 29 year breast cancer survivor, distributed literature, cupcakes and pink punch to visitors, patients, and staff in the front lobby of the hospital.

Overall rates of breast cancer occurrences are decreasing, but it is still the second leading cause of death among women, according to the American Cancer Society. One in every eight women has the chance of developing breast cancer sometime in her life. More than three-fourths of the breast cancers diagnosed each year occur in women who are 50 or older; this is why it is extremely important to get a mammogram every year after the age of 40. For women ages 20 to 39, mammograms are recommended every three years.

Regular mammograms are even more important for women who smoke. The National Cancer Institute recently reported that there is a direct correlation between smoking cigarettes and increased risks for developing breast cancer. In addition to causing lung cancer, tobacco use also increases one’s chances of developing cancers of the mouth, lips, nose and sinuses, voice box, throat, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, cervix, colon/rectum and ovary, as well as acute myeloid leukemia. It also raises the risk of many other health problems, including heart and lung diseases.

Early detection can save your life – please schedule a mammogram today!

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