MOUNT PLEASANT, SC -- The words “breast cancer” stir fear in women because of the personal nature of the disease. Statistically, knowing that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer is cause for great concern. For members of the Women’s Advisory Board (WAB) at East Cooper Medical Center this statistic recently made an impact. Of its 20 members, 4 of them have had breast cancer. Thankfully, we can call all of them survivors because of early detection and treatment.
“Having a statistic that hits this close to home is startling. As we sat around the table during our October meeting, we realized that just within our group we had a 1 in 5 statistic of breast cancer sitting right in front of us,” said Norma Jean Page. Last October (ironically during Breast Cancer Awareness Month), Norma Jean’s fellow WAB members were informed that Norma Jean was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her cancer was found during a routine mammogram, which led to an ultrasound and biopsy.
Excluding skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in South Carolina. Our state ranks 13th in the nation for breast cancer deaths. As mammography screening rates have increased, more cases of breast cancer have been found at earlier stages when chances of survival are the highest.
“As survivors we must encourage early breast cancer screenings. We must be that example for women that mammograms do make a difference,” commented Louise Rainis, a four year cancer survivor.
Leslie Haywood, another breast cancer survivor, reiterated, “One of the goals of our committee is to help educate the community about health care issues that affect them and their families and if we can encourage women to be proactive about their health, then we will have made a difference.”
East Cooper Medical Center, part of Tenet Healthcare, is a 130-bed acute care hospital located at 2000 Hospital Drive in Mount Pleasant. East Cooper Medical Center has been providing healthcare to the East Cooper community since 1986. We provide a number of services including 24-hour emergency care, women’s and children’s services, diagnostic imaging and interventional services, orthopedics, sports medicine, pain care, adult and pediatric rehabilitation services, wound care services and surgical care, including nationally recognized spine surgery and breast reconstruction surgery. East Cooper Medical Center is accredited by The Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency.