Roseburg Community Cancer Center teaches breast health
One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes and 520 men will die from breast cancer this year. Because of the large number of cases in breast cancer, the month of October celebrates national breast cancer awareness. Roseburg’s Community Cancer Center is kicking off breast cancer awareness month with a “Power of Pink” campaign.
Executive Director of the Community Cancer Center Tammy Turner says, “Our goal is to raise community awareness of the risk factors surrounding breast cancer and promote healthy lifestyle changes to lower those risks.”
During October, “We encourage community members to take control of their health by educating them about their body and providing an important cancer risk awareness message,” says Turner.
“Oregon is the third largest state, per capita, for late stage breast cancer diagnosis in the nation,” says Turner. Later detection most likely means a more advanced stage of cancer, which is harder to treat.
“Early detection saves lives! Cancers that are found early are easier to treat, and the rate of curing the cancer is higher in earlier diagnosed cases,” Turner says.
According to the national Susan G. Komen cancer foundation, several factors can affect risk. One of the largest factors is age. The lower age that someone is when they get their first period the higher the risk. Being at a lower age when a woman goes through menopause also increases the risk. The age at giving birth and the amount of children that a woman has can decrease the risk of breast cancer. If a woman is younger when giving birth, her risk is lower. Women who have more than one child also have lower risk.
Understanding how to check yourself for lumps can also lead to early detection. Some signs that women can look for are changing in the look, feel, or color of the breast, and nipple discharge.
Early signs in men can include hard lumps or knots, change in color and shape of breast, dimpling, puckering, and redness to the skin, itchy nipple, sudden inversion of nipples, and nipple discharge (which is rare), according to Susan G. Komen.
Mammograms, which are low-dose x-rays to detect lumps inside of the breast, are common in screening for breast cancer. According to Susan G. Komen, mammograms are typically covered through insurance and the only thing that people have to pay is a co-pay.
To raise awareness and fundraise for the Power of Pink, the Community Cancer Center holds events. “In past years the Community Cancer Center has promoted the Power of Pink through events such as a street festival (2019) and a 5k fun run (2013-2018),” says Turner.
Local businesses and groups partner with the Community Cancer Center to fundraise as well. These groups include businesses such as the Roseburg High School Cheer Team, Applebee’s Grill and Bar and Lithia Ford-Lincoln of Roseburg.
“Lithia Ford-Lincoln of Roseburg rallied the last three years (not including 2020) and donated a dollar amount per sale of cars sold in the month of October, raising $17,200,” says Turner. The Community Cancer Center has also participated in local walks promoted by other organizations promoting awareness during October.
Due to the COVID regulations this year, the Community Cancer Center is not holding a big event such as a festival, 5k fun run or a pancake breakfast, but rather an online event. “This year our campaign is online through Brook Communications radio, and the Community Cancer Center Facebook and website,” Turner says. “The Community Cancer Center is also giving away a Healthy Living basket valued over $600 including a Fitbit Versa, Skull Candy wireless earbuds, a 30-day gym membership, and dinners out and so much more!” The drawing for the event will be at noon on October 30.
All of the proceeds have helped to develop over 25 programs that are free to the community; a few of the programs, including Power of Pink, are “Living Well Self-Management program, smoking cessation classes and support groups,” Turner says.
In addition to all of the programs that have been created, the Community Cancer Center has also provided over $3 million in charity care in the past decade.
Tammy Turner and the Cancer Center recommend the following early detection tips and cancer management tips:
- Talk to both sides of your family and talk to your doctor.
- Perform a monthly breast self-examination if you are 20 years old and older perform a monthly breast self-examination.
- Have an annual mammogram if you are 40 years old or older
- “Know what is normal for you, the signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women, if you notice changes in your breasts from month-to-month talk to your doctor.”
- “Make healthy lifestyle choices, maintain a healthy weight, limit intake of alcohol, quit smoking and limit the use of menopausal hormones.”
To get help or to get support, monthly meetings are held at the Community Cancer Center for the public to attend. To learn more about the Community Cancer Center’s awareness campaign visit their Facebook page or their website or see their upcoming events.
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