Throughout the month, Bainbridge State has shown its support of Breast Cancer Awareness by holding events for its faculty, staff, students and the community.
On Wednesday morning, a Breast Cancer Awareness program was held in the Student Wellness Center. Special guest Linda Long, breast cancer survivor and Decatur County Breast Cancer Support Group facilitator, spoke about the importance of early detection.
“Let me tell you, even if you can’t feel a lump, it doesn’t mean you don’t have breast cancer,” said Long. “That’s the way it happened to me. Without a mammogram, I wouldn’t be here today.”
For 14 years, Long has been a breast cancer survivor.
It was soon after her diagnosis she decided to form the Decatur County Breast Cancer Support Group.
She said, “At the time, Bainbridge had nothing in the form of a support group for people affected by breast cancer. That’s how the support group came about and Decatur County has been so good to the support group.”
The Decatur County Breast Cancer Support Group provided steps for women and men to follow for breast cancer early detection.
- Learn about the possible inherited risk for breast cancer; talk to relatives on both sides of your family.
- Ask your doctor to assess your personal risk.
- If your risk is high, talk to your doctor about options for earlier or additional cancer screenings or other procedures.
- Reduce risk by making the necessary lifestyle changes. Hormone replacement therapy, alcohol consumption, birth control pills, being overweight after menopause, and lack of physical activity are all risk factors that can be controlled.
- Starting in your twenties, consider whether and how often to do breast self-exams (BSE). Many experts recommend a monthly BSE.
- In your twenties and thirties, have a clinical breast exam every three years.
- Starting at age 40, have a mammogram and clinical breast exams yearly.
- Contact your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your breasts; such as lumps or thickenings; a difference in the shape, size or skin texture.
Also on Wednesday, faculty and staff wore Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirts to honor the memory of one of their former co-workers who passed away as a result of breast cancer in 2012.
Stephanie Adams started her career at BSC as a Federal Work-Study student in 2005. In 2006, she became a full-time employee in the Financial Aid Office where she worked as a Financial Aid Counselor.
Adams held a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and was about to complete her last year of her Master’s Degree when she passed away on August 14, 2012. In 2011, she received the Meritorious Award at Honor’s Night.
Another way the BSC staff and faculty have honored the fighters, survivors and the memories of those affected by breast cancer is with their “Tree of Hope” displayed in the Student Services Building.
A pink ribbon in honor or in memory of someone with breast cancer can be purchased and placed on the tree. Ribbons are one dollar and all proceeds will be donated to the Decatur County Breast Cancer Support Group.