Lanham, Maryland – In October, Doctors Community Hospital held two free P.I.N.K.I.E. (Purposely Involved N Keeping Individuals Educated) Parties to educate employees and community members about breast health as well as the importance of annual mammogram screenings and clinical breast examinations.
According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 231,840 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, surpassing lung cancer among new cancer cases in the United States. With 40,730 women dying from this disease, it is ranked as the second leading cause of cancer deaths. In Prince George’s County, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported that 549 women were diagnosed with breast cancer with 133 related deaths in 2014. When compared to other jurisdictions in Maryland, Prince George’s County has the highest mortality rate.
“My team is regularly in the community educating people about the importance of annual mammogram screenings that save lives. We hear from some women who state that they are more focused on ensuring that their loved ones receive regular health screenings. However, that same level of emphasis is not always given to maintaining their personal health. When combined with access barriers and screening anxieties, many are not getting this and other preventative health services,” stated Terrie Trimmer, Center for Comprehensive Breast Care at Doctors Community Hospital. “That’s why the P.I.N.K.I.E. Party and other types of community outreach initiatives are so important in improving people’s health or saving lives.”
The hospital partnered with It’s in the Genes – a health advocacy organization dedicated to advancing breast cancer awareness – to assist with the two October events. Along with community members receiving massages, manicures and health education, women were encouraged to also get their annual screening mammograms and clinical breast examinations. Victorianne Russell Walton, founder of It’s in the Genes, stated, “The atmosphere for these events is one of fun, health education and more fun! This combination is often successful in our connecting with many women – even some who have never had a mammogram or received their last screening many years ago.”
Breast Screening Recommendations
Women should get regular screening mammograms to help detect breast cancer early – when it is most treatable. Women should be screened for breast cancer at:
- Ages 40 and older – have mammograms and clinical breast exams yearly
- Ages 20s and 30s – have clinical breast exams as part of regular health assessments at least every three years
- Ages 20 and older – perform breast self-exams and notify doctors of any changes immediately
About Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells develop in breast tissue. Though early-stage breast cancer does not always have symptoms, some may develop as the tumor grows.
- A painless lump in or near the breast
- A change in breast size or firmness
- Nipple itching, burning, rash, turning inward or discharge
- A warm area in the breast
- Breast skin changes such as dimpling, a sore or a rash
- Swelling in the armpit
Upon experiencing any of the above symptoms, women should contact their physicians immediately.
To schedule an annual mammogram screening or request a free breast health brochure, call the Center for Comprehensive Breast Health at 301-DCH-4YOU (301-324-4968).