By Amber Ellis of BMA Management, Ltd.
Gail Williams is a survivor.
She beat breast cancer more than a decade ago and didn’t look back until this summer when her mammogram revealed there may be trouble again.
A biopsy showed that everything was fine, but the second breast cancer scare pushed her into action. She wanted to raise awareness about the disease and figured her job at Deer Path of Huntley, an assisted living community for adults 22 to 64 with physical disabilities, was the perfect place to start.
She reached out to community partners and put together the Pink Power Tea that was held at Deer Path last week. The two-hour event included survivor stories, early detection tips and mammogram advice. Everyone went home with a card they can hang in their showers as a reminder to do monthly self-exams.
“Breast cancer can happen to anyone. We need to do everything we can to make people more aware of how to recognize and treat this disease,” explained Gail, the marketing director at Deer Path.
This year alone, an estimated 232,000 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and the second leading cause of death in women.
One in eight women will learn they have breast cancer at some point in their lives. The disease also affects men, although it is not as common. In 2014, about 2,300 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
These staggering numbers and a personal connection have pushed Gail to start thinking about ways to boost awareness efforts at Deer Path. She and her partners from Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital and Care Navigators would like to host annual educational presentations and bring a mobile mammogram station to the community. The issue is especially important at Deer Path, Gail said, because the residents there are within the age range that is most at risk.
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS SAVES LIVES:
SET UP AN ACTION PLAN
If you are 40 or older:
Have a yearly mammogram and continue to do so for as long as you are in good health.
Include a breast exam as part of a periodic health exam, preferably at least every year.
Report any breast change to your doctor right away.
If you are 20-39 years old:
Have a breast exam as part of your periodic health exam, preferably at least every three years.
Do self-exams. Report changes to your doctor.
Source: American Cancer Society
The pictures above show BMA and our communities
wearing pink to support breast cancer awareness.
All affordable assisted living communities managed by BMA Management, Ltd. are certified and surveyed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. All assisted living communities are licensed and surveyed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“BMA Management, Ltd. is the leading provider of assisted living in Illinois
and one of the 20 largest providers of assisted living in the United States.”
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