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DE Breast Cancer Coalition Promotes Early Detection

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Sunny Villafañe with Kay Hudson, Carolyn Talbor and Norma Jean.

The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC) hosted a seminar on Breast Health Awareness on Wednesday, October 19 at the Milford Public Library. Sunny Villafañe, representative from DBCC, urged the women who attended to understand what breast cancer is, who it affects and steps to take to ensure good breast health. In Delaware alone there were 690 individuals who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010; 120 of those cases took the life of that person.

Through outreach programs such as the seminar on Wednesday, DBCC empowers communities around Delaware by raising awareness of breast health issues. The organization provides education and support services in order to facilitate early detection and the treatment of breast cancer in their vision to “create a community where every person diagnosed with breast cancer is a survivor, and fear and doubt are replaced with knowledge and hope.”

Ms. Villafañe encouraged women of the Milford community to know the risk, get screened and make healthy lifestyle choices. Each individual is unique when it comes to the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Although the exact cause of breast cancer is unknown, there are many factors including family health history, reproductive history, lack of physical activity and exposure to second hand smoke that can increase an individual’s chance of being diagnosed with the disease.

“The most important thing is early detection,” commented Ms. Villafañe. We Want women to perform self breast exams, receive clinical exams by physicians and mammograms. Early detection saves lives.”

The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition urges women to have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if they are of average risk. If a woman is under 40 and has a family history of breast cancer or other concerns she should talk with her doctor. Clinical breast exams are recommended at least every three years starting at the age of 20 and every year starting at age 40. As always DBCC recommends that women ask their doctor which screening tests are right for them.

In addition to Community Breast Health Education Programs, DBCC offers Peer Support Mentor Programs, the Mobile Mammography Van and education on free programs from the Delaware Health and Social Services that prevent, test for and treat cancer. Peer Support Mentor Programs provide newly diagnosed individuals with a survivor mentor, with a special emphasis on women diagnosed at 40 or younger. The Women’s Mobile Health Screening (WMHS) Van travels the state of Delaware providing early detection services for local women. The Delaware Cancer Treatment Program offers free cancer treatment for up to 24 months for individuals diagnosed with cancer on or after July 1, 2004.

DBCC remains the only organization in the State of Delaware focused solely on breast health. To contact the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition in Kent County by phone call 302-672-6435 and in Sussex County by phone call 302-644-6844. For additional information visit www.debreastcancer.org. The mammography van will be visiting the Milford Public Library on Friday, October 28 from 9am-1pm.

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