Pocahontas Memorial Hospital employees – men and women alike – wore pink Tuesday, October 20, to raise awareness of breast cancer.
October was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Chief Executive Officer Barbara Lay read a Proclamation declaring it Breast Cancer Awareness Day at the hospital. A pink-bedecked wreath was hung on the front door and Barbara Campbell, a 25-year breast cancer survivor, distributed literature, cookies and pink punch in the front lobby to hospital visitors, patients and staff. PMH was honored to have two breast cancer survivors in attendance for the ceremony.
Overall rates of breast cancer occurrences are decreasing, but one in every eight women still has the chance of developing breast cancer sometime in her life. Over 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 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.