'Dancing with Pink Ribbon' event at Connellsville Senior Center stresses detection, awareness
By Marilyn Forbes
Published: Saturday, March 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Early detection of breast cancer can be paramount in the control of its treatment and the message of importance and awareness is one that can not be repeated enough.
A breast care awareness event, titled “Dancing with a Pink Ribbon,” was recently held at the Connellsville Senior Center, encouraging both men and women to take advantage of breast cancer screening that was offered free of charge to those who are not covered for the procedure by their insurance.
The service is made possible through Cornerstone Care of Uniontown, a nonprofit network of community health centers in Fayette, Greene and Washington counties whose mission is to improve the health of their patients and all the residents of the communities that they serve.
“We bring our mobile unit to places and offer our services,” Cornerstone Care outreach specialist Sheila Shea said. “We set up our unit then we talk to the people about the importance of early detection and prevention. We want to educate everyone on the importance and need for yearly mammograms.”
The unit travels all over the county and also makes stops in Greene County, Shea said.
“We'll go just about any place that will have us,” Shea said. “We'd actually like to get out more.”
Informational literature is handed out to those who are interested, and trained specialists then go over all information and handle each individual with care and assurance.
The mobile unit service has been offered for only a short time as people started to become more aware of a void for low-income individuals who benefit from the services.
“We saw a need for this,” said Sharon Heath of Greene County, Cornerstone Care's outreach specialist. “Early prevention and detection is something that we can't stress enough.”
While the mobile unit was parked and available at the center, the senior citizens were treated to a live dancing show performed by a group called The String of Pearls who are women, 54 and older, who perform at some of the Cornerstone Care events.
“Dancing with a Pink Ribbon” is a program made possible with funding by the American Cancer Society East Central Division through the NFL Crucial Catch foundation.
“We have a great time doing this,” dancer Donna Sanders said. “We've been everywhere doing this and we just love it.”
Six of the nine dancers performed at the center while the health care specialists passed out information and answered questions.
“There is a great need for early prevention and detection, and we also want men to be aware that they should also be tested,” Shea said, adding that breast cancer affects only 1 percent of males but that is still significant. “They also need to know. They need to be aware. We can't stress how important this is.”
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
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