Welcome to October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
This is the month when we go Pink to remind our patients, colleagues and friends about the importance of yearly exams with your primary care provider and screening mammograms. Let’s come together as a community to decorate our businesses and wear our pink to celebrate survivors and encourage women to get their screening mammograms.
But first, let’s cover some misconceptions about breast cancer.
I often hear from folks in the community say, “I don’t have to worry about breast cancer, it doesn’t run in my family.”
Actually anyone with breasts is at risk for breast cancer. Even men. Men have a much lower risk, at 1 percent, but a risk nonetheless. The reality is that most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have a relative with the disease. So annual mammography, starting at age 40, is still recommended by most medical groups. But discuss it with your primary care provider when you visit him or her this year. Need to schedule a mammogram? Call Southeastern Wellness Imaging Center at 910-671-4000.
And I can also hear some of you say, “I can’t afford a mammogram!”
There is a program to get uninsured women ages 40 to 64 free mammograms and pap smears. That’s right, I said free. Please call Connie Freeman at the Gibson Prevention Clinic to schedule an appointment today at 910-671-5357.
We have exciting outreach going on all month. Currently our clinics are “Going Pink!” Local businesses have joined in and are showing off their Pink passion and several upcoming events will highlight breast cancer.
To learn more, go to the Southeastern Health page on Facebook.
Catherine Gaines is a physician assistant and the lead patient navigator for Gibson Cancer Center and Southeastern Health.