Breast Cancer Awareness Ceremony in Steubenville | News, Sports, Jobs



CEREMONY PARTICIPANTS – Among those who participated in the Ohio Mammogram Day Wreath Ceremony on Wednesday sponsored by the Jefferson County Women’s Cancer Action Coalition were, from left, Janet Sharpe, co-chair of the coalition; guest speaker Patti Mannarino from Mingo Junction; Ericka Guz, coalition member; and Leslie Aftanas, co-chair of the coalition. — Janice Kiaski

STEUBENVILLE — While early detection and advances in medical treatments have reduced the incidence of breast cancer deaths, there is room for improvement.

And annual screening mammograms for women 40 and older are important in that effort — a message delivered to a small turnout Wednesday for the Ohio Mammogram Day Wreath Ceremony sponsored by Women in Action Against Cancer Coalition of Jefferson County.

Dr Harry Patton, a radiologist at the Images Mammography Center at Trinity Medical Center East, offered breast cancer statistics as part of the program held at the visitor center in historic Fort Steuben – the numbers, he says, are “important to keep in mind.”

“Breast cancer is common and affects approximately one in eight women during her lifetime,” said Patton. “The most important risk factor for breast cancer is being female and getting older with a family history also a strong indicator.”

In 2022, an estimated 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women, he said, pointing out that breast cancer affects not only women, but also men, although more rarely. .

“In my career, I’ve probably seen a total of about five or six cases of male breast cancer, three of them at Images, so we’re seeing it,” he said, explaining that a man’s lifetime risk is one in 833.

About 43,250 women in the United States are expected to die of breast cancer this year, “but the overall breast cancer death rate declined by 43% between 1989 and 2020, and this is due to early detection and advances in medical treatments.

“We can do better – we have to do better”, Patton emphasized, noting that COVID-19 has posed challenges with delayed screenings and mammograms. Continuing education and encouraging mammograms are important, he said.

Other stats mentioned by Patton include:

— Breast cancer death rates are higher than those of any other cancer except lung cancer, which is the main type of cancer.

— From 2014 to 2018, breast cancer was the second most common cancer in both men and women in Jefferson County.

— Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in African-American women.

— Having a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with breast cancer nearly doubles a woman’s risk.

Patton said 80.1% of women ages 50 to 74 said they had had a mammogram in the past two years, which is slightly higher than the state at 78.2% and the county at 78. .9%.

“Current screening guidelines recommend annual screening mammograms – and this comes from the American College of Radiology and what we follow in radiology – starting at age 40 for women at average risk and continuing until life expectancy is less than five to seven years from the end of their life, so it’s really important – it’s an annual screening from the age of 40, ” said Patton.

“Regular mammograms increase the chances of detecting breast cancer, which generally results in less aggressive treatment, breast-conserving therapies and better outcomes, so if you haven’t done so, please schedule your mammogram from screening.” he said.

Janet Sharpe, co-chair of WIAACC, welcomed participants to the ceremony, a 23-year tradition. Jefferson County Commissioner Tom Graham did double duty, singing the national anthem and “How Big You Are” as well as the presentation of a proclamation on behalf of the commissioners.

Steubenville Mayor Jerry Barilla and 5th Ward Councilman Willie Paul, who noted that breast cancer claimed his mother’s life at age 48 in 1985, presented a resolution on behalf of the City of Steubenville.

Coalition members Sharon Kirtdoll offered prayer and Ericka Guz an overview of what the coalition is and does. The community-based nonprofit organization was established in 1994 in response to the high incidence and mortality rates of certain cancers in the Jefferson County area.

It focuses on raising awareness, educating, and promoting early cancer detection and prevention in Jefferson County, helping residents know when and where to seek early cancer detection, how to proceed when a cancer is diagnosed, how to navigate an increasingly complex health care system, and who to turn to for community resources and survivor support, according to Guz.

“The key to the process and the goal is the talent and commitment of our members”, Guz said.

The coalition assists women in need of financial assistance to get breast and cervical screenings and generates funds through grants; the annual coalition banner project; a bake, book and soup sale in partnership with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Steubenville; car shows; donations; and Reisbeck’s lunch box program on Fridays in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Volunteers assemble and provide gift bags to new Tony Teramana Cancer Center clients, and the coalition provides financial assistance for Minority Health Month prostate screenings.

“The Breast Cancer Wreath Ceremony is one of the coalition’s oldest and most beloved events,” Guz said, noting that it is observed on the third Wednesday in October.

In August, the coalition became a member of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce to increase its visibility and reach more women and men in need of its services.

It welcomes new members.

Guest speaker Patti Mannarino of Mingo Junction admitted “my world began to spin” when her doctor told her she had stage one breast cancer, a diagnosis that came in late 2021 and fueled her need to research and learn everything she could about breast cancer breast and how to fight it.

“After going through every emotion, every thought, I got my new mindset and that was embrace and conquer,” explained Mannarino, who said she didn’t need chemo, but she did need radiation.

“Knowing the history of heart disease on both sides of my family and my cancer being just above the heart, radiation therapy is not, long term, the best thing for that area, so the more research I found, the more I considered what I was going to do,” she says.

“I came across the GammaPod, a unique technology and with that you need five treatments, not 20 to 40 like everyone else”, she said, delighted to be able to receive the treatment not too far from her home – in Pittsburgh.

In doing so, Mannarino was the first Allegheny Health Network patient to be treated with GammaPod, the world’s first radiation device specifically designed for the treatment of breast cancer. The GammaPod is centrally located at the AHN Cancer Institute at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

There are three other places where the technology is being used – Baltimore, Texas and Italy, according to Mannarino, who explained the process for what amounted to a 30-minute treatment and noted there was no associated pain.

“This Friday I’m coming back for my one-year-old mammogram, so I’m a little nervous just going back for the first time,” commented Mannarino, who closed his sharing time with a poem titled “Guide to Sharing Grief.” She said it aligns with the emotions one experiences following a cancer diagnosis and how it changes one’s life.

Leslie Aftanas, co-chair of the coalition, presented a bouquet of roses to Mannarino as well as roses to breast cancer survivors – Janet Pillar, Ann Cash, Joyce Locascio and Kathy Coldebella.

Door prize draws completed the program.

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