One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, about 178,480 women in the United States will be found to have invasive breast cancer in 2007, and nearly 41,000 of them will die this year from the disease. That’s according to statistics from the American Cancer Society, and the numbers are sobering.
To promote consciousness and prevention of the disease, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Throughout Utah County, events and programs are being held to honor the month.
A women’s health fair, "Celebration of Light," will be held this week, Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 10 and 11, from 8 a.m. to noon each day. The fair is for women, ages 40-64.
Opportunities for free or low-cost screenings, breast exams, pap smears, and mammogram vouchers for those who qualify, according to program guidelines, will be offered.
Some of the first signs of cancer can show up on a mammogram before it can be felt.
There will also be food, prizes and other incentives. The fair is sponsored by the Utah County Health Department and will be held in the Utah County Health and Justice Building, 151 S. University Ave., 1709. Call 851-7031 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Women who are not able to attend the event may still call to find out if they qualify for a free mammogram.
Intermountain Health Care will honor those currently battling breast cancer, and the memory of those lost to it, by decorating trees outside some of their Utah County hospitals with pink ribbons throughout the month.
These hospitals, American Fork, Orem Community, and Utah Valley Regional, will also offer free gifts to women who receive mammograms during the month.
In addition, digital mammograms, a method that produces clearer, more effective, digitally stored images, will be offered at the American Fork hospital on Oct. 25. Call the hospital to make an appointment.
The Merrill Gappmayer Family Medicine Center in Provo will offer free, physician-conducted clinical breast exams on Oct. 18 and Oct. 25, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 357-7930.
For more information about breast cancer or National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit the American Cancer Society’s Web site at cancer.org or NBCAM at nbcam.com