The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Robin L. Quillon

October 6, 2013

Robin L. Quillon | Don't delay – get breast exam now

JOHNSTOWN — “I went outside and shed a few tears. I never thought it would happen to me.” That is what Nancy Smith said about the breast cancer news she received from her doctor, as reported by our Kelly Urban. Nancy went on to say that if she had taken a few extra minutes in the shower and done a breast self-exam, she probably would have felt the grape-sized lumps and caught the cancer sooner.

After her experience, I feel confident that Nancy would tell every woman to please take the time to schedule a breast exam today and don’t wait.

Ask any physician and he or she will tell you that early detection could lead to an early cure.

Let me repeat that – early detection could lead to an early cure!

Exciting things are happening here at The Tribune-Democrat during October. All month long, we are celebrating and drawing attention to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

This will be our sixth year beating the drum of breast cancer awareness.

Our goal every year is very simple: Convince one more woman to get screened.

I urge you today to make that your goal as well this month. Please talk to your loved ones and encourage them to get screened – screening is fast, easy and the right thing to do. We are fortunate to have top-notch hospitals, doctors and research facilities right here in our backyard and region. I am pleased to report that the local leaders of our health care facilities tell me that this month-long awareness campaign is making a difference.  

The experts confirm that early detection could lead to early cures. Especially when coupled with new, enhanced technology and expanded research, local health professionals and organizations are giving patients the care and support they need to fight breast cancer and build promise for a better future.

The statistics are indeed alarming. It is estimated that more than 200,000 new cases of breast cancer are expected to occur among women in the United States this year. Surprisingly, more than 2,000 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer. More than 40,000 breast cancer deaths are expected. In Pennsylvania, more than 1,900 deaths are expected in 2013.

Our hope is that our readers will be proactive and that the information we will be providing all month will persuade those at risk to please get screened.

This educational campaign could not be possible without the generous support of our corporate neighbors.

I personally met with the heads of these organization, and many shared their own personal connection with this deadly disease. They understand the importance of spreading the word and did not hesitate to participate this year.

I must say, folks, I shop and do business locally because these good business partners support our community in so many ways. And I hope you will also.

I want to thank and recognize: First Commonwealth Bank, Conemaugh Health System, Windber Medical Center/Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center, AmeriServ, Windber Research Institute, Indiana Regional Medical Center, Cambria County Association for the Blind and Handicapped, Highmark, 1st Summit Bank, Somerset Hospital, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, Concurrent Technologies Corp., Kongsberg, UPMC, Allegheny Chesapeake Physical Therapy, Crown America Hotels/Harrigan’s Cafe and Wine Deck and Johnstown Symphony Orchestra.

We hope you or your loved ones will take a small moment of your day and get screened. It very well could be the best investment of time you will ever make because early detection means everything when dealing with this deadly disease.

Remember what Nancy said: “I never thought it would happen to me!”

Robin L. Quillon is the publisher of The Tribune-Democrat, of CNHI News Service. He can be reached at rquillon@tribdem.com

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