GREENVILLE — Darke County Chamber of Commerce President Sharon Deschambeau said she hopes that Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminds women to schedule their mammograms.
The Darke County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Women in Networking (WIN) Pink Ribbon Luncheon fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness of Darke County, Thursday. Program speakers included: Alisha Reiss, M.D., General Surgeon, American Board of Surgery, Fellow-American College of Surgeons, Wayne HealthCare and Jill Brown, RN, BSN, OCN, CBCN, Wayne HealthCare Cancer Coordinator and Breast Cancer Awareness of Darke County president. Guests were treated to a lunch buffet, helpful information about breast cancer detection and door prizes.
“We hope that this Pink Ribbon Luncheon will serve as a time of encouragement as we lift up those women who are suffering from breast cancer, that we honor our breast cancer survivors, and that we remember the individuals that have lost their battle with breast cancer,” Deschambeau said. “We hope that the luncheon will raise awareness that funds for mammograms are available to women in Darke County, that do not have financial resources. And we hope and pray there will be a cure for breast cancer soon.”
General Surgeon Alisha Reiss said discussions about breast cancer screenings are confusing, as multiple organizations are setting guidelines, such as the American College of Radiology, the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.
“It is always a controversy of when we should start or stop getting mammograms,” she said. “They all seem to disagree, but in general, we have not found any good data that the self-breast exams at home, do much to increase survival. The problem is, it is detecting lumps too late. Should you stop doing that? Absolutely not. You should know your body, and if you feel anything abnormal, get it checked out. Reiss recommends to begin getting mammograms early.
“As a surgeon, and as a woman who has a godmother that died of breast cancer, I will tell you to start at 40. Nothing will change my mind of that. We want to detect it earlier, and checking every year is a good recommendation to get into the habit.”
Reiss also answered a question about the speed in which breast cancer should be treated.
“Breast cancer for any two women is not the same, and that is one of the first things I tell any patient that comes into the office with a diagnosis of breast cancer,” she said. “If you have somebody you know that has it, they are going to be a great support and resource. But, if our treatment is different than their’s, it is because we try to individualize it to every woman. The steps you need may be different than someone else, because your cancer is unique and we have to treat you accordingly. Breast cancer spreads over a course of months and years even. From the time you get your mammogram, to when you are getting full treatment; I would love to see that under two months.”
Wayne HealthCare Cancer Coordinator and Breast Cancer Awareness of Darke County President Jill Brown said she works very closely with the surgeons and they have roundtable discussions. Breast Cancer Awareness of Darke County is a non-profit organization, focusing on breast cancer prevention, screening, early detection and education.
“Our services include free mammograms, free ultrasounds and free pap testing to those that are uninsured or under insured,” she said. “We also offer supplies, such as: specialty bras that people need after breast cancer surgery or any prosthetic they need. In addition, for those with financial issues, come talk to me and we will see what we can do for you.”
Brown said they are very fortunate in Darke County. The organization works very closely with local and national organizations, she said.
“People really come together and support each other here,” she said. “I don’t have any trouble raising money.”
Additional sponsors of the Pink Ribbon Luncheon, include: Brethren Retirement Community, Dayton Physicians Network, Premier Health and Wayne HealthCare. Door prize donors include: Breast Cancer Awareness of Darke County, Brethren Retirement Community, Dayton Physicians Network, Montage, Premier Health, Studio One, The Ivy League, The Natural Path, The Winery at Versailles, Wayne HealthCare and Wielands Jewelers.
For more information, visit Facebook.com/Breast Cancer Awareness of Darke County Call 937-547-5079.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.
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