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October is breast cancer awareness month

Since 1985, the month of October has been set aside as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

In the last 20 years, since the program’s inception, the number of women getting a mammography has more than doubled for women age 50 and older, and breast cancer deaths have declined.

The facts from the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Web Site are:

4Women age 65 and older are less likely to get mammograms than younger women, even though breast cancer risk increases with age.

4Hispanic women have fewer mammograms than Caucasian women and African American Women.

4Women below poverty level are less likely than women at higher incomes to have had a mammogram within the past two years.

4Mammography use has increased for all groups except American Indians and Alaskan natives.

Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Russell, Ky., is recognizing the month with prevention and awareness activities.

“Typically, in October we like to commemorate the fact that it is breast awareness month,” said Kevin Compton, communications specialist for OLBH. “As much as we offer services, we hope that women become more aware and get their regular mammograms. It’s a very treatable disease if it’s caught early.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 9, Christopher Bailey, D.O., will be offering free breast exams at the hospital from 5 to 7 p.m. by appointment. Contact the OLBH CareLine at (606) 833-CARE (2273).

“We’ll be having National Mammogram Day on Oct. 19 for the Susan B. Komen Foundation, the leader in the global breast cancer movement, to go Passionately Pink for the Cure during October,” Compton said. “Proceeds will support breast cancer research programs. Our employees will be wearing pink for a $5 donation and that money goes to help fight breast cancer.”

Also on the 19th, OLBH will be offering a free mini-makeover for women with mammograms scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m.

A Mary Kay representative will be on hand for the makeovers and WLGC will have a live remote from the suite in recognition of National Mammography Day.

In August, OLBH officials unveiled plans for the OLBH Women’s Center, an all-encompassing facility that will create a “one stop shop” for area women by combining and adding services that will take place under one roof.

Highlights of the new center include GE Full Field digital mammography and the daily presence of an OLBH surgeon.

“No longer will women have to travel to different places and providers for complete breast health services,” OLBH CEO Mark Gordon said. “This wonderfully self-contained facility will eliminate unnecessary visits and prolonged waiting.”

The center will be located on the ground floor of Bellefonte Centre at 1000 Ashland Drive. In addition to digital mammography, the center will offer clinical breast examinations, dedicated breast ultrasound, surgical consultations, minimally invasive breast biopsy and the DEXA-Scan densitometer to screen for bone density.