6th Annual Spirit of Pink draws largest crowd ever
Spirit Slide Show
Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital’s 2016 edition of the Spirit of Pink drew it’s largest crowd to date, over 150 at the DuBourg Centre on October 13.
This year’s theme, “Don’t Bet On Your Breast Health,” had a casino theme and participants enjoyed several fun games of chance with pink Spirit dollars as the payoff.
Dr. Theresa Cavins, breast and general surgeon and medical director of Metis Breast Center, gave a brief welcome and updated woman on the hospital’s latest 3D mammography.
“Our program has grown by leaps and bounds,” said Dr. Cavins. “The big announcement we have this year is that we have state of the art 3D mammography at our Bloomsdale Medical Centre thanks to Friends Foundation. It’s amazing to me that we have this digital technology that identifies 40% more cancer than standard mammography. That’s the kind of mammogram I’m going to get.”
Cavins explained another huge advantage of the 3D is that it reduces the number of call backs.
“How stressful is that?” Dr. Cavins asked. “3D mammography decreases the chance that you get called back for a second view, because we can get incredibly clear images. We can see everything right up front with more accuracy.”
The only down side to this new technology is slightly more radiation and a little bit more expense. The hospital is asking for a $25 co-pay if your insurance does not cover the 3D screening.
“But you have to weigh the pros and cons to anything, and I believe the benefits outweigh the risks in most people for 3D mammography,” she said. “The earlier we find breast cancer, the greater the chance for a cure. I feel very fortunate that we have this in our community, and thank the SGCMH administration and the Friends Foundation for making it happen.”
Mammogram screenings are recommended at least by age 40 and every year up to age 55, according to Cavins, but screening guidelines from different societies due differ.
“The key to screening mammography is to talk with your doctor,” she said. “It’s not one size fits all. Breast care is like all medicine today, it’s very personalized. You’re all very different, and you all have a different genetic makeup.”
That led perfectly to Cavin’s introduction of Mary Crecelius, women’s health nurse practitioner and advanced practice nurse in genetics at Métis Breast Center. Mary gave a brief description of the genetic testing offered at SGCMH.
“About 10% of cancer is caused by a mutation in the genes.” Explained Mary. “Ninety percent is not, but for that 10% we can really prevent cancer down the road for families. Angelina Jolie’s family members had a BRCA gene mutation and Angelina never had cancer, but she took preventative strategies so she would not get cancer and that as a really big boon to genetic testing. Now a few short years later, we now know of 28 genes that can have mutations in them that can increase the likelihood that people can get cancer. So we’re creating a robust program to help people understand if they need to think about genetic testing.”
She explained that patients start with a simple heredity cancer quiz that can be assessed through the SGCMH website (www.stegenevievehospital.org). The quiz might identify a red flag that could identify you as a person who needs to consider risk assessment, and possibly genetic testing.
“Risk assessment is considered preventive care and anybody can come see me for risk assessment,” she said. “Together we’ll look at your family history and decide if genetic testing is right for you. This year we’ve run about 130 genetic tests.”
Joseph Sharlow, MD general surgeon and medical director of Genesis Med Spa was next to address the audience.
“I feel very fortunate to see so many of you here that have survived breast cancer,” he said. “Those of you who are survivors, are a part of a 2.8 million population of women who are breast cancer survivors. I think that’s pretty significant when you consider the magnitude of this disease. We’re blessed to have our cancer center.”
Sharlow took the opportunity to give a brief description of Genesis Med Spa.
“Genesis is now partnered with Transformations, our medical weight loss clinic,” he explained. “When you achieve your weight goals or still have a few stubborn areas, Genesis Med Spa can take you the rest of the way. Genesis med spa enhances your natural beauty with minimally invasive techniques. We have a lot of things to offer. You’re a beautiful group and I feel fortunate to share this evening with you.”
In between some casino fun and games, participants could visit booths by Ste. Genevieve Wound Care, 3D Brows, Genesis Med Spa and Transformations Clinic.
Participants were treated to hor d'oeuvres, wine and music by Mimi Kinnison. A photo booth was set up and a pink bench in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness was the center of attention. Breast cancer survivors, of which there were many in the audience, were recognized and given a special gift.
“A lot of people know someone who has battled or is battling breast cancer,” said Tina Poston, Director of Marketing and Community Relations. “This is part of the reason why we hold this event. It's an evening to have fun, but also take care of women and their health.”