Block party highlights breast cancer threat

First Posted: 10/29/2010

LUMBERTON Irene Stuart wants to set the record straight about breast cancer during The Sisters Network of Southeastern North Carolinas fifth annual Block Walk on Saturday.
Theres nothing like seeing the light go on in somebody, Stuart said. To show that there are survivors living and that its not a death sentence. Im still here kicking and screaming.
The Sisters Network, a national breast cancer survivorship organization, works to raise breast cancer awareness among blacks.
Stuart, one of the six founding members of the local chapter, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002.
I thought I was healthy and I still got breast cancer, Stuart said. You can do everything right, but it just happens.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among black women.
Stuart said there will be a block party at the Lumberton Health Center on North Pine Street from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It will feature health booths, free breast cancer screenings, and free food.
As part of the event, about 75 people, including breast cancer survivors, will go door-to-door between 10 a.m. and noon talking about breast cancer and how to do self-examinations.
This is the only way you can really educate people, Stuart said. Thats why we get out there and talk to them face to face to make them feel comfortable about going to a doctor … .
Our goal is to talk to 200 women on Saturday. It only takes one woman to tell me the block walk helped her. Thats what keeps us going.
She said women should be doing monthly exams, checking for lumps or skin irritation.
We want to make sure you get diagnosed as early as possible and get treated, Stuart said. Early detection is the best … because even during the best of everything, you still can get it.
Miss North Carolina 2010, Nadia Moffett, will attend Saturdays event.
We want to make sure we can get through to everybody, Stuart said. We live with uncertainty every day. Were just trying to put out hope. There is hope.