October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. I always love and hate to see this month come around due to the increase in discussions around breast cancer and heightened awareness. My friend Amanda is currently in her battle against breast cancer, and it is a battle. She’s a warrior; except her battle is being fought as she’s hooked up to bags of poison that kill the good and bad cells in her body while she tries to keep herself healthy so she can go for the next round. Have I mentioned she is doing all of this while parenting two very active daughters and trying to be who she is — Amanda.
On a sad note, earlier this year we lost my sister-in-law, Sandi, to stage four breast cancer. She was just as heroic as Amanda, but her body couldn’t fight anymore. The disease moved to her liver and we lost her after a five year battle. This is where I turn into Forrest Gump — “that’s all I have to say about that.”
1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
Locally, as you all know, I’m a big supporter of Charlotte Radiology and the steps they take every year to bring awareness to the fight against breast cancer and raise funds during the month of October. For the seventh consecutive year, Charlotte Radiology’s theme is the “1-in-8” breast cancer awareness campaign. The name stems from the statistic that one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
“Educating women about breast health is our constant mission,” said Michelle Russell, breast services marketing manager. “But every October, we get another opportunity to educate the whole community on the lifesaving potential of mammography. As long as the 1-in-8 statistic stands, we will do all we can to promote proactive breast health. At the same time, we use the month to raise funds to help take care of local women whose treatment may require financial assistance.”
Charlotte Radiology is planning several community events throughout the month. A portion of proceeds from all events will benefit Carolinas Breast Cancer Fund, a Levine Cancer Institute initiative that increases access to life-saving mammography screenings and follow-up care for uninsured women. Donations to Carolinas Breast Cancer Fund make possible Free Mammography Days in targeted underserved populations.
Community events this October include:
· Pink Pint Night is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 1 from 4 to 8 p.m.at NoDa Brewing Company (2229 N.Davidson). The public is invited – no reservations required – to this special kickoff event, which features live music, food trucks and a special pink brew. There will also be a raffle with prizes from YETI, Lululemon, Aveda and more. A portion of all proceeds will go to Carolinas Breast Cancer Fund.
· Observe the Pink is The Charlotte Observer’s contribution to the awareness campaign, and Charlotte Radiology is a sponsor of the second annual event. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3, The Observer parking lot (600 S. Tryon St.) will be home to a food truck rally featuring some of the area’s most popular food trucks, like Juan Taco, Comfort Foods, and Papa Libretto’s. The event will also feature games and raffles, local sports mascots and the Charlotte Radiology specially designed Bras and “1-in-8” Pink Ladies, whose pink and white costuming illustrates the breast cancer statistic.
· Paint it Pink, in partnership with Wine & Design, will be on Monday, Oct. 13 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. The public is invited to join in creating a special pink Charlotte painting – lead by Wine & Design’s talented artist. The cost is $35 per person, which will include the painting and complimentary drink from OMB. Reservations and pre-payment is required athttp://www.wineanddesign. com/Charlotte.
Charlotte Radiology has launched several initiatives in 2014 that expand service offerings and provide greater access to lifesaving screening tests for women unable to pay for those services.
· The group will be opening a new breast center – its 14th – on September 23 in Prosperity Crossing in north Charlotte to meet the demands of that growing region. The Prosperity Crossing Medical Plaza Breast Center offers screening mammography (including tomosynthesis/3D mammography) and bone density scans – imaging technology that uses low amounts of X-ray energy to detect the presence of osteoporosis. Like all Charlotte Radiology Breast Centers, the center is accredited by the American College of Radiology, certified by the FDA and recognized as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence.
· From January through July 2014, Charlotte Radiology’s two mobile mammography centers, which debuted in 2011, have logged 14,227 miles and screened 4,843 patients in North and South Carolina. (In addition, a mobile unit sponsored by Belk and staffed by Charlotte Radiology has reached 2,263 patients in seven states this year. That unit has traveled 26,351 miles in 2014 alone.)
· The newest technology in breast cancer detection – tomosynthesis – was added to breast centers in Monroe, Huntersville and Pineville. “Tomo,” an exam performed on state-of-the-art digital equipment takes multiple low-dose images of a compressed breast from different angles, will soon be made available at the Prosperity Crossing, Ballantyne and SouthPark Breast Centers by end of the year. Since launching tomo in 2013, Charlotte Radiology’s call-back rates – for “false positives” – have already dropped to 7.7 percent from an average of 10 percent.
Tomosynthesis is performed at the same time as a traditional 2D mammogram. It’s on the same scanner with no noticeable difference in the experience or time involved for the patient.
In October, Charlotte Radiology will support various events that support the fight against breast cancer, including Ballantyne Country Club’s Rally for the Cure, Charlotte Latin School’s Serve for the Cure, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Tickled Pink and American Cancer Society Making Strides. For details and a list of all 1-in-8 campaign activities, please visit www.beatcancercr.com
About Charlotte Radiology Breast Center
Charlotte Radiology, established in 1967, is one of the largest radiology groups in the country. It operates 14 breast center locations, including two mobile breast centers, serving more than 100,000 women each year. All breast centers are accredited by the American College of Radiology, certified by the FDA and recognized as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. For more information: www.charlotteradiology.com.