Local breast cancer survivors and local officials hung a wreath in the lobby of the Nolan County Courthouse on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011, as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Nolan County. The event was co-sponsored by the Women's Health Awareness Program at the Alliance for Women and Children, Vera West Women's Center in Abilene, West Central Texas Chapter Oncology Nursing, Your Women's Center at Abilene Regional Medical Center and the American Cancer Society.
In an earlier meeting of the Nolan County Commissioners, Oct. 1, was proclaimed Breast Cancer Awareness Day in Nolan County. Similar ceremonies were conducted in communities throughout the Big Country. The ceremonies demonstrated a commitment to fight the disease that has claimed the lives of so many women. This year an estimated 2,770 Texas women will die from breast cancer and 15,347 will be diagnosed with the disease.
Early detection could reduce deaths due to breast cancer by as much as 30 percent. By celebrating Nolan County Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Nolan County Commissioners hope to increase awareness of how early detection can save lives.
2011 marks the 35th National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to increase awareness of the importance of early detection of breast cancer through public and professional education outreach efforts. To find breast cancer early, women should do breast self-examinations every month, have a health professional check their breasts every year and have regular mammograms.
All women are at risk for developing breast cancer. Women 50 or older are most likely to develop breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that women 40 or older get a yearly mammogram and breast exam. Getting a mammogram and breast exam only once is not enough.
The Women's Health Awareness Program at the Alliance for Women and Children offers free mammograms, breast examinations, Pap tests and diagnostic services to women who have no insurance and can qualify. For more information, call 325-677-5321 or 1-888-855-9922. In addition, Medicare helps pay the cost of a yearly mammogram for women age 65 or older with Medicare Part B.
Other resources for information on breast cancer are the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Center at 1-800-4-CANCER.