Breast cancer screening event a success
Coffee Regional Medical Center hosted a free breast cancer screening event for women in South Georgia in October to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The purpose of this event was to encourage women to be vigilant about breast health, to take the proper steps to complete routine breast screening, and, if at risk or age 40 and above, provide a referral for a diagnostic mammogram. A mammogram must be ordered by a physician, therefore this event enabled those without a physician the opportunity to have a mammogram scheduled, if needed or desired.
The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender and age. Women over the age of 40 are more likely to develop breast cancer, therefore an annual breast screening is very important to assure early diagnosis and treatment. There are a staggering number of women in our community and throughout the United States who do not seek routine screening. Understanding the need to raise awareness of the value and importance of annual screening, Coffee Regional Medical Center and CRH Oncology Group took the initiative to provide this no-cost, educational event designed to ensure that all patients could be served and educated on all available options in breast health. The screenings took place on two evenings in mid-October, the 17th and the 24th.
“It’s essential to us that we reach as many women as possible with the importance of routine breast screening. This ensures the disease is caught before it reaches an advanced stage,” said CRMC’s board certified oncologist Dr. Eric Anderson. “Catching breast cancer in its early stages leads to improved survival rates and less invasive treatment options.”
Community partners were invited to join Coffee Regional in this event. The Georgia Department of Public Health set up a booth and provided education about options available through the health department. Beta Sigma Phi – The Pink House representatives attended both events and shared their support resources available for women diagnosed with breast cancer in Coffee County. Additionally, CRMC’s Mammography Department, CRH Women’s Center, and a representative from the CRMC Financial Assistance Program were on-hand to educate and assist women with options for scheduling a mammogram when necessary. Many women are not aware of the many resources available to them in Coffee County and this event was successful in educating all participants on the many options.
The community response was outstanding, both events were completely full, and no one was turned away, serving a total of 88 women.
Nearly 65 percent of participants either had mammograms scheduled before leaving the screening event or had a follow-up appointment with the Georgia Department of Public Health to take the steps to qualify for the department’s BreasTest mammogram screening program. Each participant was also given a goody bag that included manual breast exam guides and other educational material.
This event would not have been possible without the volunteer work of CRMC’s outstanding team of providers who so willingly participated in the event. Thank you to Dr. Eric Anderson & Danielle Collins, FNP-C of CRH Oncology Group, Dr. Chet Royals of CRH Surgical Group, Debbie Purvis, FNP-C of CRH Family Medicine Group, and Meg Minchew, PA-C and Mandy Bice, WHNP-C both of CRH Women’s Center. Each of these providers volunteered their time and expertise for the manual exams. In addition, many support staff members played vital roles in the event, ensuring everything went smoothly. A special thanks to Kelli Delk, manager of the CRH Oncology Group, for overseeing the event, her hard work and organizational skills really made a difference.
As a community partner, Coffee Regional Medical Center offers educational events, lectures, and screenings throughout the year to Coffee and surrounding counties. To ensure you stay well-informed of any upcoming events, “like” us on Facebook or visit us online at www.CoffeeRegional.org.