MONDAY NIGHT SUNSET — Driving through Montana provides for some of the most spectacular sunsets captured on the camera. Stratman captured this on the way home Monday evening. I-O Photo by Barb Stratman
By Melissa Huber, I-O Reporter
By now, the story of Susan G. Komen is not so unknown. Nancy G. Brinker—founder of the largest network of breast cancer survivors and activists with the smallest beginnings—created Susan G. Komen for the Cure as a promise to her sister Susan who was one of the many victims of breast cancer.
Brinker helped educate masses of women about their body and what they could do to prevent, detect, and cope with breast cancer, in addition to donating millions to finding a cure for the disease.
Now, foundations like Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Pink Ribbon Connection, which are working towards a cure for breast cancer, can be found all over.
Breast Cancer Awareness month begins next week, and Conrad is doing its part to help support breast cancer awareness. Don’t be surprised to see pink all over town during the month of October. Here are a few things to look out for.
During the football game on Oct. 4 the team will be wearing pink ribbons and socks in support of breast cancer awareness, and Taylour Russell will have her horse decorated in pink prior to the game. Members from the Pondera County Health Department will be handing out a special gift to the first 50 women who come to the game.
Similar activities will be going on at the Oct. 3 high school volleyball game. The volleyball team will be wearing warm up shirts purchased by the Montana Comprehensive Cancer Care Program, and also pink socks.
Fans are encouraged to “Paint the town pink”, and wear as much pink as possible to show support.
There will be giveaway baskets located at A Shear Happiness, Headquarters Salon, and Salon 315 with free little goodies for clients in support of breast cancer awareness all month long.
As always, the goal is to educate woman about breast cancer. Women who have had a mother or sister with breast cancer are at a higher risk to get it themselves. Also, having an early menstrual cycle or even belatedly reaching menopause can put you at higher risk.
As recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, women between the ages of 50 and 74 should have a mammogram every two years. At risk women should consult their doctor about how often they should be screened. This is especially important for Montana, which has a lower amount of women keeping up to date on their screenings than the rest of the United States.
Among Montanan women, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer, and approximately 730 Montanan women are diagnosed with it each year. Of those, a staggering 125 will die from it.
However, thanks to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and similar foundations, the mortality rate from breast cancer has steadily been dropping.
The Pondera County Health Department offers ongoing quality screening services to Montanan men and women through the Comprehensive Cancer Screening Program. Available services include mammograms, clinical breast exams, Pap tests and pelvic exams for the early detection of breast and cervical cancers. Colonoscopies and FOBT tests are also provided for the early detection of colorectal cancer. In the case of an abnormal screening, diagnostic testing is also provided for the follow-up.
The Montana Cancer Control Program, in association with partners throughout Montana, have worked to increase breast cancer screening among all women in Montana by providing free or low-cost mammograms to eligible women. A whopping 47,594 women have benefitted from MCCP assistance since its inception in 1996.
It is always better to err on the side of caution, especially when it involves your life. Get yourself screened today, and don’t forget to participate in Breast Cancer Awareness month all throughout October.