LAURINBURG — For the 14th year, Scotland Health Care held its “Breast Cancer Awareness One Mile Walk,” with about 100 people who came out to support the cause, ranging from those who work in the hospital to survivors of the disease.
The walk was a mile long, winding around Scotland Memorial Hospital with everyone in attendance decked out in pink and carrying balloons. Those who were unable to walk the mile were able to ride in one of two decked-out golf carts or a pink Mary Kay Cadillac, which was brought from Rockingham specifically for the event.
The path taken took the road behind the hospital and crossed over the speed bumps.
Cancer Center Director Paula Love says that the event kicks off October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and will end with a Scotland High School varsity football game on Oct. 26 being dedicated to breast cancer awareness.
Along with the two events, plenty of activities are being done internally at the hospital to raise awareness — such as wearing pink on Wednesdays.
Love said that the whole point of the walk is to raise awareness for the disease, as one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes.
“The key is getting women to stop for a moment and do something for themselves,” Love said. “And the best thing they can do for themselves and their families is to make sure that they get their mammograms.”
The statics, though, are low for women getting their mammograms, with only 65.3 percent of women over the age of 40 getting one in the past two years, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
At the Scotland Imaging Center, new state-of-the-art technology is helping find more abnormalities than before. The first in the region, the Center is offering 3-D mammography, which offers images in different angles as opposed to 2-D mammograms, which only offers front and side images.
The new technology plays a key role in early detection for breast cancer.
At Tuesday’s event, Scotland Health Care System CEO Gregory Wood and County Commissioner Carol McCall both spoke on the importance of getting tested.
“The most important thing you can do to take care of your health is getting that mammogram,” Wood said. “We are ready for you after the fact, we know how to do those mammograms, but you are the most important person when it comes to taking care of your health.”
McCall spoke about her own experiences. While she herself was not a survivor, her sister is a survivor and sister-in-law did not survive the disease.
“Now I have a daughter who has a paternal and maternal aunt that have had breast cancer, so she is fully aware of those statistics that are so important,” McCall said. “I just want to congratulate the health care system. I travel around the state quite a bit and what we have here in Scotland County is not typical in small rural counties. We are very fortunate to have the services that we have.”
Leslie Herndon is the breast health navigator, a new position at the hospital. Her job is to help patients who have an abnormal mammogram coordinate appointments and bridge the gap between the patients and medical staff.
“We spoke to a support group last Friday and one of the patients said, “she’s there to help me think when I can’t think,” and we just thought that it was a really great phrase to wrap up what the position is,” Herndon said.
To end the event on Tuesday, all-pink refreshments and snacks were offered as well as a drawing was held and one breast cancer survivor was awarded a $100 Visa gift- card from the Scotland Memorial Foundation.
Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171 or at [email protected]