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Wreaths Bring Awareness About Breast Cancer

By Staff | Oct 15, 2008

Wetzel County Commissioners Don Mason, Barbara King, and Bob Gorby hang a Breast Cancer Awareness Month wreath on the door of the courthouse

The Wetzel County Commission proclaimed Oct. 7 as West Virginia Breast Cancer Awareness Day and October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

President Barbara King read the proclamation at the Oct. 7 meeting. She ended the reading by saying, “I urge all Wetzel County women to become aware that they are at risk for breast cancer.”

Then the group left their chambers in the former sheriff’s residence to hang awareness wreaths provided by the Wetzel County Cancer Coalition on the east and south doors of the courthouse.

Theresa Hoskins spoke to the governing body about the special disease. After presenting the commissioners with coffee mugs, she noted that in 2008 about 1,200 women in West Virginia will be diagnosed with breast cancer and about 300 of them will die of the disease. “I was actually a 2006 statistic,” said Hoskins.

To have a better chance at early detection and thus better survival rates, Hoskins reminded women to conduct monthly self exams and women 40 and older should get a mammogram every year. Women with a higher risk of breast cancer may be advised to get yearly mammograms beginning at age 30.

High risk is defined as a person having a personal history of breast cancer, a family history of breast cancer (mother, sister, daughter, or grandmother, or two or more close relatives, such as cousins or aunts, especially if diagnosed before age 40), never had children, first child born was after the age of 30, abnormal biopsy result, or genetic alterations.

Many mammography facilities offer reduced rates on mammograms during October. From more information, call the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program at 1-800-642-8522, the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345, or the Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER.

The West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program provides clinical breast examinations (CBEs), mammograms, and Pap tests for eligible women, as well as diagnostic testing for women whose screening outcome is abnormal. Since its inception in 1991, the WVBCCSP has enrolled over 107,000 women and provided more than 209,000 Pap tests, 136,000 mammograms, and 198,000 breast exams.

WVBCCSP is a comprehensive public health program that helps uninsured or underinsured women gain access to breast and cervical cancer screening services. Screening and early detection reduces death rates, improves treatment options, and greatly increases survival.

For more information visit www.wvdhhr.org/bccsp/.