This is a commentary by Pam Proman, the executive director of the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion at St. Joseph’s/Candler.
As we come to the close of our October breast cancer awareness campaign, it’s important to remember that breast cancer doesn’t take time off.
Neither should we.
Vigilance is the key to this fight. Whether it’s making sure to get an annual mammogram, encouraging others to do the same, sustaining the accelerated level of medical research and technological advancements, or supporting those in our community who are currently facing this health crisis, we can all make an impact.
The intention of our Paint the Town Pink effort is to positively impact our community through breast cancer awareness, education and encouraging an actionable response. The most important of those actionable responses is to schedule your annual mammogram. Another impactful way is to support the Telfair Mammography Fund so that hundreds of uninsured and underinsured women in our community have access to such a life-saving health screening.
This special fund ensures there are no financial barriers to this life-saving screening for the people of our community. So, whether you have health insurance or not, an annual mammogram is available to those who need it.
For the past several years, we’ve been very fortunate in that numerous local businesses, schools, and civic organizations have held special events and promotions in support of our annual campaign. Most of the funds raised during these occasions have been donated to our Telfair Mammography Fund.
The groups that joined us in this fight and made this cause their cause have demonstrated incredible commitment, enthusiastic zeal, generosity, and a humanitarian spirit for which we are forever thankful.
Thanks are also in order for the staff at the Savannah Morning News and savannahnow.com for their steadfast dedication in advancing this cause and spreading the word.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge my many colleagues at St. Joseph’s/Candler and the Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion for their leadership, tireless work and courage on this effort, as well as our many providers, clinical experts and dedicated researchers who have committed their lives to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
It’s important to remember the tens of thousands of people facing the challenges of breast cancer each day, as well as the equal number of survivors who serve as a clarion of hope and a relentless icon of courage for all of us.
While cancer research and medical advancements in the oncological sciences have led to improved detection and diagnosis tools, more precise and tolerable treatment options, breakthrough progress in the area of genetics, and vastly improved breast cancer survival rates, such progress is meaningless if patients go undiagnosed. The first step towards a proper diagnosis is a screening mammogram.
Monday is Oct. 30 and it is also St. Joseph’s/Candler’s annual Mammography Day. Women across the region can get their annual screening at six convenient locations including St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Telfair Pavilion at Candler Hospital, St. Joseph’s/Candler Imaging Centers in Bluffton and Pooler, The Telfair Breast ImagingCenter on Eisenhower Drive, and our Mobile Mammography Unit — this year located at Plant Riverside District near the JW Marriott hotel. Call 819-PINK to register.
Our Paint the Town Pink campaign is much more than a mere communication effort. It’s a catalyst for social change and an advocacy for personal health consciousness—no matter what the health challenge. The impact of our core message reaches far beyond the realm of breast cancer. Over the past years, this awareness campaign has surpassed the gender barrier of female breast cancer and has advanced the overall health consciousness of all citizens.
We’ve got a long way to go, but efforts like Paint the Town Pink give us hope that through persistence, resiliency, and passionate efforts of hard work and advocacy, we can someday reach that major milestone of a finding a cure.
Our campaign officially ends on October 31, but our efforts clearly do not.
Let’s keep up the fight and keep moving forward.