PARKERSBURG -Members of the Breast Cancer Awareness committee for the Community Educational Outreach Service clubs along with Wood County officials kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness month during a wreath-hanging ceremony Monday.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
"Since 1988 all around the state, CEOS hang a wreath to raise awareness of breast cancer awareness month. We are painting the county pink, all the clubs and the 4-H clubs are helping," said Donna Hudgins, chairwoman of the Breast Cancer Awareness committee for the CEOS clubs.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Donna Hudgins, chairwoman of the Breast Cancer Awareness committee for the Community Educational Outreach Service clubs, and Paula Strawder, West Virginia University family and health extension agent for Wood County, kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness at the courthouse Monday. Regina Jenkins, back, middle, and other members of the CEOS committee along with Wood County officials were present for the annual wreath-hanging ceremony in the courthouse lobby.
"This effort started in 1985 as a nationwide campaign. Here in Wood County, the clubs raise money for the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Diagnostic and Treatment Fund and all that money stays here in Wood County to help women who can't afford mammograms and clinical screening. Last year, West Virginia raised over $140,000 and here in Wood County, the clubs raised about $3,000," said Paula Strawder, West Virginia University family and health extension agent for Wood County.
"The statistics are frightening, approximately 1,316 West Virginia women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, and in West Virginia, approximately 294 women will die of breast cancer. Breast cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in West Virginia," Strawder said.
All women were urged to be checked and do self-exams.
Women's Outreach Programs
The West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening program serves income-eligible women who do not have health insurance or whose insurance does not cover pap test, pelvic exams, clinical breast exams, mammograms and other diagnostic services, such as diagnostic mammograms, colposcopies, biopsies, ultrasounds and surgical consultations.
For more information on the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program, call Anna Reno, health information specialist, at 304-422-1515 or 1-800-642-8522 or go online at www.wvdhhr.org/bccsp to find a list of providers in your area.
The program also provides free information about breast and cervical cancer and referrals for treatment of breast and cervical cancer.
The no-cost, low-cost services are offered through county health departments, primary care centers, private physicians and other clinical settings, such as hospital outpatient clinics and free clinics.
"Early detection is the key, that's why we try to get the word out," Strawder said.
Wood County clerk Jamie Six said one of his employees is a cancer survivor.
"When it touches your own community, like it has here in our courthouse, the statistics become more personal. She has been recovering for the past 12 months. Awareness is very important, thank you for all you do to help," Six told the women.
Commission President Blair Couch read a proclamation on behalf of the commission, proclaiming Oct. 1 as West Virginia Breast Cancer Awareness, and designating the month of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Wood County.
The American Cancer Society recommends a yearly mammogram for women starting at age 40. Clinical breast exams are recommended every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over. Self-exams are an option starting for women in their 20s. According to health officials, a woman has a one in eight lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, and a one in 36 chance of dying of the disease.