It was an evening that combined women, wine, paint, and good music as the artistic talent of those present at the third annual Women’s Health and Paint Night at the Community Education Center at Imperial Valley Mall on Oct. 7.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month also referred to in the United States as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure.
Breast cancer is something that affects all families at one point. Ron Rietmour is a hospital employee and his close family members have suffered cancer and some have passed away because of it. That’s why he was one of the participants of this event since he believes in prevention and constant checkups.
“If we could find the cure to cancer that will be great but I think women and men should check themselves. So, men, if you find a lump it doesn’t hurt to get a breast exam on yourself. Go to the doctor,” said Ron Rietmour, one of the few men that painted.
El Centro Regional Medical Center was one of those organizations that joined the celebration but also had a portion of education as Dr. John Dalle, radiologist, gave an overview of what breast cancer is and what should women do if they are diagnosed.
“The key that I always stressed to women is that they do their yearly mammogram starting at age Forty,” Dr. Dalle said. “If the family has a history of tumor history then they should start at age thirty. Also, it is recommended that they do their test in the same location every year,”
Dalle said ECRMC is proud to have the latest technology in mammography called 3D Tomosynthesis. This is a new type of digital x-ray mammogram that creates 2D and 3D-like pictures of the breasts.
This tool improves the ability of mammography to detect early breast cancers and decreases the number of women “called back” for additional tests for findings that are not cancers.
During a “3D” exam, an X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over your breast, taking multiple low-dose x-ray images. Then, a computer produces synthetic 2D and “3D” images of your breast tissue. The images include thin one-millimeter slices, enabling the radiologist to scroll through images of the entire breast like flipping through pages of a book, and providing more detail than previously possible.
Supporting the event was the Imperial Valley Cancer Support Center who has a long track record of helping women and advising them as they deal with cancer.
Oreda Chin, a representative of the center said it is important for men and women to check themselves often.
“My advice for women is to not be afraid. Go and get a check. Nine times out of ten there will not be a problem but it is important to get checked especially after this pandemic. So we recommend going back to the doctor, check your full body and make sure everything is clear,” Chin said.
The IVCSC believes in the healing power of love and support, two of the most important gifts we, as humans, can all give. They take the time to get to know clients and their families to provide a personalized and intimate experience.
“They need support and care and let them know they are not alone,” Chin added.
Men are also at risk of getting breast cancer and they are also encouraged to get checked as well.
“The ratio for men is lower than women to get breast cancer but it is possible. Men can be embarrassed to talk about cancer. It is something that happens and can be prevented,” Chin said.
For Adolphe Edward, ECRMC CEO, the whole month of October they recognized those that have survived breast cancer and we bring attention.
“We offer the screening and mammography for the women that need it. We want the women that are going through the journey to let them know that we are here for them and we can support them in any way we can,” Edward said.