Shore kicks off breast cancer awareness month
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.
Participants of last year’s event hang pink ribbons on the evergreen tree in front of the hospital in Easton.