Breast cancer awareness month |

Breast cancer awareness month

by Megan Downs, Appeal Staff Writer
Dawn Wengert, Mammographer for the Mammovan for Nevada looks at a set of X-rays on East King St. Wednesday in the back of the van. She was in between patients. photo by Rick Gunn

Almost 205,000 women are affected annually by breast cancer in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. In Nevada, more than 1,500 women suffer from the illness.

October is breast cancer awareness month, a month that health officials said they hope will help women become aware of bodily changes.

Wednesday was the kick-off event for Carson’s Think Pink campaign, a program started last year by Carson-Tahoe Cancer Services. The purpose of the program is to initiate conversation about the debilitating disease.

The event was attended by cancer supporters, those who have had a family member or friend affected or those who are cancer survivors themselves.

Red’s Old 395 agreed to donate appetizers for the event, raffle prizes were given and unique pink drinks were served.

“We just want everyone to be aware,” Edythe Garvey, Carson-Tahoe Cancer Service coordinator, said. “We held the event last year and it was so successful. We are hoping to make it annual.”

Attendees wore pink T-shirts that were available for $5 at Carson-Tahoe Cancer Resource Center, the Nevada Appeal, the Carson-Tahoe Hospital Gift Shop and Safeway Pharmacy in Minden.

“As they wear them all day — at work or the store — people will start thinking about it,” said Edythe Garvey, Carson-Tahoe Cancer Services Coordinator.

Garvey said women must be aware of changes to their breasts and advises three key steps to prevention and early detection.

First, she said to conduct monthly self-check exams. Second, women must see their physician yearly for a clinical breast exam. And third, mammograms must be obtained at the appropriate age. According to the National Cancer Institute, women over age 40 should get a mammogram every one to two years.

The hospital will also be hosting community seminars throughout the month to heighten awareness and knowledge, Garbee said. The first will be held Oct. 7 and is called “I found a lump, now what?”

Also occurring this month is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Sunday. Races will be conducted in Reno, as well as a simultaneous inmate and staff race at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center

Seventy-five percent of the proceeds will go to support local women and the other 25 percent will go toward cancer research.