SIKESTON - The American Cancer Society is spreading awareness about breast cancer and urging women to take action by learning more about the disease during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And Southeast Missouri is joining the effort.
According to the most recent data, mortality rates declined significantly during 1990-1997. These decreases are being attributed in part to the organization's research and education programs, which encourage earlier detection and improved treatment of the disease.
Throughout October, several activities are being conducted in recognition of the month, including registering for 10 free mammograms that Missouri Delta Medical Center is donating. Registration boxes are located at the Scott County Health Department, 919 E. Malone; Mission Missouri Soup Kitchen, 218 Dixie; MDMC, 1008 N. Main; the OB/GYN Department at Ferguson Medical Center, 1012 N. Main; and the office of Dr. Joseph Jacob, 1015 N. Main.
In addition, the Accent Shop is promoting Breast Cancer Awareness Month by giving a discount on fashion items purchased by customers who make a donation to the ACS. For anyone who tries on a pair of French Dressing Jeans, a $1 donation will be made. Pink ribbons and breast cancer information will be given out as well.
For women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, the local ACS offers a variety of community-based patient service programs that enhance the quality of life for patients, families and survivors.
Reach to Recovery is a one-to-one peer support program of breast cancer survivors trained to respond to concerns of women who are going through breast cancer diagnosis or treatment.
Look Good...Feel Better is a free, national public service program sponsored by the American Cancer Society, Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association and the National Cosmetology Association. It is dedicated to teaching female cancer patients beauty techniques to help restore their appearance and self-image during cancer treatments. Services include two-hour group makeover workshops and one-to-one salon consultations. The program also provides educational materials.
Tell a Friend is composed of trained volunteer callers who contact five women they know to encourage mammography screening and early detection methods. Findings from a recent survey emphasize the significance of programs such as this. Nearly 70 percent of the women questioned in the survey indicated they are greatly or somewhat influenced by others' opinions when it comes to breast cancer and other health care concerns.
Tic is a catalog that provides medical information and special products for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, breast cancer survivors and any woman experiencing treatment-related hair loss. Sent directly to homes upon request, products in the catalog include a variety of hats, turbans, kerchiefs, hairpieces, mastectomy bras and breast forms. Silicone prostheses also are offered.
I Can Cope are educational classes for people with cancer and their families and friends. Doctors, nurses, social workers and other health care professionals provide information about cancer, encouragement and practical hints through presentations and class discussions. The ACS continues to make progress. The organization has awarded more than $140 million in breast cancer research since 1972, funded early research on recent discoveries such as Tamoxifen and Herceptin and advocated for quality mammography standards and Medicare coverage of clinical trials.
For more information contact the local Scott County Health Department at 471-4044.