Shore kicks off breast can­cer aware­ness month

Times-Record - - Front Page - By DENAE SPIERING dspier­ing@ches­pub.com

EAS­TON — Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health in Eas­ton will kick off Breast Can­cer Aware­ness month with cer­e­mo­nial tree light­ing at 4 p.m. Thurs­day, Oct. 5.

The event will in­clude the hang­ing of pink rib­bons by Clark Com­pre­hen­sive Breast Cen­ter vol­un­teers and staff on the large ev­er­green tree in front of the hos­pi­tal on South Washington Street. The rib­bons will be hung in honor of the breast can­cer pa­tients who were treated this year by the cen­ter.

The tree will be lit with pink lights and serve as a month­long re­minder of the friends, neigh­bors and loved ones whose lives have been touched by breast can­cer.

The event is a pre­cur­sor to a month of pro­grams,

ac­tiv­i­ties and screen­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties at the hos­pi­tal and at the Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health of­fices across the Shore.

The events all aimed at in­creas­ing aware­ness of breast can­cer and how it can be de­tected, pre­vented and treated.

“With any can­cer, it is all about aware­ness,” said Brian Leut­ner, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of UM Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter at Dorch­ester and UM Shore Re­gional Health On­col­ogy Ser­vices.

Thirty to 40 years ago, he said, the med­i­cal world started look­ing at ways to raise aware­ness and de­velop early de­tec­tion ini­tia­tives. He said those ef­forts have made a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence across the United States and here on the Mid-Shore.

“It changes from find­ing can­cer in late stages to the be­gin­ning of is­sues,” Leut­ner said. “We are now able to treat more pre-can­cers ag­gres­sively be­fore they have the op­por­tu­nity to be­come can­cer.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety, breast can­cer is the most fre­quently di­ag­nosed can­cer in women. It is es­ti­mated that more than 246,000 women were di­ag­nosed with in­va­sive breast can­cer in 2016.

As part of the month­long ef­fort, UM Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ters will con­duct breast can­cer out­reach ses­sions through­out the Mid-Shore, in which com­mu­nity res­i­dents are in­vited to stop into their lo­cal hos­pi­tal to talk with can­cer cen­ter vol­un­teers who can pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about breast can­cer.

“Our mis­sion is to cre­ate health­ier com­mu­ni­ties to­gether,” Leut­ner said. “We work to­gether with all five health de­part­ments in the five-county Mid-Shore re­gion, churches — any­where we can help spread the mes­sage.”

The ses­sions will start at UM Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Ch­ester­town, in­side the Me­mo­rial Cor­ri­dor, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wed­nes­day, Oct. 11.

The next ses­sion will be held at the UM Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Eas­ton in­side the cafe­te­ria from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fri­day, Oct. 20.

The last ses­sion will be held at the UM Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Dorch­ester in­side the cafe­te­ria from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tues­day, Oct. 23.

For more in­for­ma­tion about breast can­cer or the pro­grams avail­able at UM Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter, visit www.um shorere­gional.org.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Par­tic­i­pants of last year’s event hang pink rib­bons on the ev­er­green tree in front of the hos­pi­tal in Eas­ton.

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