CARTHAGE — With many dressed in pink, about 75 attended the annual Think Pink Luncheon Wednesday at the Elks Lodge.
Hosted by Carthage Area Hospital as part of its Community Engagement series the free luncheon was held in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In her opening remarks, Taylour Scanlin, Carthage Area Hospital director of marketing and Foundation director, listed statistics obtained from cancer.org. “In 2019, an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women and approximately 2,670 case will be diagnosed in men” with about 41,760 women and 500 men dying from the disease. Statistics show one in eight women — 13% will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetime and one in 39 will die from the disease. When asked if there were any breast cancer survivors present a few women raised their hands but almost every hand in the room went up when asked if they had a relative or knew someone who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Carly Draper, a registered dietician at the hospital, and Kathy Staunton, Elizabeth Wende Breast Care mammography technologist, were keynote speakers for the event.
Mrs. Draper, who said she had no personal experience with the breast cancer, opened her talk speaking of a 10-year survivor Malanie Young who has a blog about her cancer journey. The blogger wrote about the importance of diet, stating she has changed her attitude about food and now “eats to live well.” She said she uses food as fuel to protect the body through her treatment. Ms. Young’s writings can be found through her website at melanieyoung.com.
“Melanie Young not only walks the walk but she talks the talk,” said Mrs. Draper.
The dietician pointed out there are things you can control to prevent cancer such as diet, physical activity, limiting the use of alcohol, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight.
One thing you can not control is genetics which account for 5 to 10 percent of diagnosis of breast cancer.
Mrs. Draper advised the limiting high fat, sugary, red meats and processed foods. She suggested a plant based diet.
The luncheon menu developed by the dietician represented such a diet with squash and bean soup, greek salad and baked eggplant parm. Surveys completed by attendees listed the lunch as one the best parts of the presentation.
Eating a healthy diet of five or more colorful vegetables and fruit, whole grains, low fat proteins such as poultry and fish, will make you “healthier from the inside out,” said the dietician.
Ms. Staunton who has been with the Rochester based breast care center since 1999 spoke about how the clinic operates and different diagnostic tools it utilizes.
Elizabeth Wende founded the first free standing breast clinic in the nation and it is the first to provide immediate results to patients.
“We owe a lot of our lives to Dr. Elizabeth Wende,” said Ms. Stauton.
The breast center opened a satellite clinic at 3 Bridge St., West Carthage last year.
“When you walk into the Carthage office it’s just as though you are in Rochester,” said the technician, noting if a doctor is not at the local clinic, a doctor at the home base will read the mammogram.
She stressed the importance of self breast exam, clinical exams and annual mammogram. However, she pointed out there are other diagnostic tools including ultrasounds and MRI.
“You know your body better than the doctor does,” she said.
The breast center recommends baseline mammograms for women age 35 to 40. But if there is a family history the first mammogram should be performed 10 years prior to the age the relative was diagnosed.
Ms. Stauton also spoke of the importance of women knowing their breast density since it can affect detection of cancer.
“Mammograms are not 100 percent, combined with other tools we can catch more cancers,” she said. “Early detection is the first step to a cure.”