Sampson Regional Medical Center and the Outpatient Diagnostics Center kicked Breast Cancer Awareness Month off with a bang.
During the Pink Brunch Thursday, women had the chance to take time out of their busy schedules to get a little pampering and some education about breast health care, diagnosis and treatment.
According to Jill Cairney, professional recruiter and marketing specialist for the hospital, approximately 85 women registered for the brunch and despite the rainy weather, had a great turnout.
“With all the rain, I expected there to be less people here,” Cairney said.
The brunch offered women’s health information, while pampering those in attendance at the same time. The floating brunch was a way for women to learn more about breast cancer health and women’s health in general.
“This brunch benefits the community and supports breast cancer and research,” Cairney said. “We want to make people aware of this because it’s important to have screenings done.”
As the women, and even men, came into the classroom at the Health and Wellness Center, they could take part in chair massages, hand spa treatment, bone density screenings and talk with certified technicians about mastectomy supplies, proper bra fitting, mammograms and breast cancer support.
Lynn Joyner of Matthews Health Mart, a certified mastectomy fitter, was on hand to talk with the women about anything from pre-surgical options to the products available to women once they have had a mastectomy.
According to Joyner, who has been working with breast cancer patients for the last five years, going through the process of selecting the appropriate attire is very emotional.
Mastectomy products come in all sizes, with the smallest weighing around three ounces and the larger around a pound.
Matthews and Family Medical Supply offer special bras and bathing suits for women who wear prosthesis. The bras come in all designs, from super sexy to super comfy. The bras come without underwire, strapless and in a sports bra design.
Members of the Breast Cancer Support Group were also available to offer support to anyone who has experienced breast cancer in some way.
According to Wanda Boyette, the Breast Cancer Support Group is a great way for women to come together to talk about the struggles women face when battling breast cancer. The support group meets monthly at the Center for Health and Wellness.
Boyette said the group reaches out to breast cancer survivors once they have had surgery, giving them a bag of inspirational material. The material includes a handmade pillow to assist in surgical recovery, a cover for the drainage bag and a manicure kit.
One part of good health care for women, according to Kristie Page, LMBT #5464, certified licensed massage therapist, is stress relief. One way to relieve stress is through massages. During yesterday’s brunch, women could receive a five-minute chair massage for free.
“Sometimes people are dealing with life-altering experiences such as breast cancer,” Page said. “Stress can cause other body functions to change. Therefore, massages and stress relief are very important.”
Page, who works for Massage and Skin Care by Kristie at J Lily and Co., said there are unlimited benefits for massages. Massages can increase and improve circulation, alleviate pain, improve immune function, reduce stress, support effective digestion and breathing and diminish premenstrual symptoms, just to name a few benefits.
The American Cancer Society recommends women ages 35-40 to receive a baseline mammogram and then an annual mammogram every year after the age of 40. According to the ACS, breast exams should be done by a woman’s physician as part of the annual health exam. Women should begin doing self-breast exams in their 20s.
SRMC and the Outpatient Diagnostic Center are also holding Moonlight Mammograms every Tuesday and Thursday in October.
During yesterday’s brunch, participants could sign up and schedule their mammograms.
The event, Cairney said, will provide annual screening mammograms at a cost, but allow women to come out after normal business hours to fit their schedules. Appointments must be made and are still available. To schedule your appointment, call 592-2689 and select option 1. Please have insurance information on hand when scheduling your appointment.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.