October 12, 2011 3:17:00 PM
There are a lot of misconceptions about breast cancer. Oncology Nurse Navigator Amanda Mordecai, of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, hears them every day.
Thursday, she hopes to do a little myth-busting at the hospital's first breast cancer education luncheon, a free program which will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the hospital's Patient Tower Education Rooms 4 and 5.
Lunch will be served, courtesy of local oncologists Dr. John Whitecar, Dr. Wail Alnas and Dr. Robert Jones.
Some of the topics which will be discussed include things like the ages and risk factors for breast cancer, preventative measures and genetic testing for cancers.
The program is geared toward women 45 and older or anyone with an interest in breast cancer. It is based on program materials written by certified oncology nurse and breast cancer advocate Judy Kneece, who serves as president of EduCare, a breast health training and publishing company headquartered in South Carolina.
Mordecai said many women believe they can't get breast cancer because they are too young or don't have a family history of breast cancer. Others believe that as long as they don't feel a lump in their breasts, they are safe.
These are all misconceptions.
"There are a lot of myths people use to convince themselves they can't get breast cancer," Mordecai said this morning. "Outside the medical community, you hear a lot of stuff."
She said early detection is a key component of breast health and breast cancer treatment. She recommends every woman over the age of 50 schedule an annual mammogram.
"Breast cancer is so treatable in this day and time," Mordecai said. "There are many new medicines out there. The public needs to be informed that the quicker we find the cancer, the more likely you are to survive."
According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women this year, with an additional 57,650 additional cases of in situ breast cancer.
ACS predicts that approximately 39,520 women will die of breast cancer this year. Only lung cancer accounts for more deaths among women.
And breast cancer isn't just a threat to women. ACS further estimates that 2,140 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and 450 of those men will lose their lives to the disease.
For more information about Thursday's breast cancer luncheon, please pre-register by calling 662-244-1132. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.
Carmen K. Sisson is the former news editor at The Dispatch.
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