Local hospital hosting cancer awareness classes

September 30, 2013 9:33:37 AM

Sarah Fowler - [email protected]


Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle is encouraging women to educate themselves on breast health.  


The hospital will offer three, free classes during October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as a way to provide women with tips and tools to lead a healthier lifestyles, prevent cancer and learn about the benefits of early detection should cancer occur. 


One out of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. To combat that number, Dr. Velmalia Matthews-Smith, a medical oncologist at BMH-GT, suggested offering educational classes during October. The hospital has hosted the weekly talks for the past two years and the talks have been a great success, according to Baptist employee Amanda Mordecai. 


Mordecai, who works in the cancer unit at the hospital, said women diagnosed with breast cancer "belong to a club they didn't desire to join." By educating the community, Mordecai hopes women can learn lifesaving tools. 


"Prevention and early detection is the key in breast cancer," she said. "Also, living a healthy lifestyle is very important in cancer prevention." 


The hospital's first class is Wednesday in the Patient Tower. Set up as an educational luncheon, the classes will focus on healthy food choices, the importance of an active lifestyle and the role genetics can play in breast cancer diagnosis. 


"At BMH-GT we want to do our part in making our community healthier," Mordecai said. In an effort to ensure they are serving the community in the best way possible, Baptist hospitals recently underwent a community health assessment. 


"Our hospital, along with other Baptist hospitals, received results from a comprehensive community needs health assessment," Mordecai said. "This assessment revealed several health areas in our community that need work. Our hospital plans to gear educational classes around these needs. Two of the areas mentioned were obesity and access to care. Access to care includes prevention and early detection to all cancers." 


In addition to tips on healthy living, the luncheons will also educate women on the latest breast cancer screenings. 


For more information, contact Baptist at 662-244-2923.

Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.