Sampson Regional Medical Center and the Outpatient Diagnostics Center are doing their part in bringing light to a disease many women across Sampson County are facing.
During the Pink Brunch Thursday, women had the chance to take time out of their busy schedules to get a little pampering and some education about breast health care, diagnosis and treatment as a way to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
According to Jill Cairney, professional recruiter and marketing specialist for the hospital, approximately 60 women registered for the brunch and despite the rainy weather, had a great turnout.
“With all the rain, I was worried we wouldn’t have that many show up,” Cairney said.
The brunch offered women’s health information, while pampering those in attendance at the same time. The floating brunch was a way for women to learn more about breast cancer health and women’s health in general.
“This brunch benefits the community and supports breast cancer and research,” Cairney said. “We want to make people aware of this because it’s important to have screenings done.”
As the women came into the classroom at the Health and Wellness Center, they could take part in chair massages, hand spa treatment, bone density screenings and talk with certified technicians about mastectomy supplies, proper bra fitting and mammograms.
A certified mastectomy fitter from Matthews Health Mart was on hand to talk with the women about anything from pre-surgical options to the products available to women once they have had a mastectomy.
According to the specialist, going through the process of selecting the appropriate attire is very emotional. Mastectomy products come in all sizes, with the smallest weighing around three ounces and the larger around a pound.
Matthews and Family Medical Supply offer special bras and bathing suits for women who wear prosthesis. The bras come in all designs, from super sexy to super comfy. The bras come without underwire, strapless and in a sports bra design.
Sampson Regional Medical Center offers a Breast Cancer Support Group as a great way for women to come together to talk about the struggles women face when battling breast cancer. The support group meets monthly at the Center for Health and Wellness.
The group reaches out to breast cancer survivors once they have had surgery, giving them a bag of inspirational material. The material includes a handmade pillow to assist in surgical recovery, a cover for the drainage bag and a manicure kit.
One part of good health care for women, according to Kristie Page, LMBT #5464, certified licensed massage therapist, is stress relief. One way to relieve stress is through massages. During Thursday’s brunch, women could receive a five-minute chair massage for free.
“Sometimes people are dealing with life-altering experiences such as breast cancer,” Page said. “Stress can cause other body functions to change. Therefore, massages and stress relief are very important.”
Page said there are unlimited benefits for massages. Massages can increase and improve circulation, alleviate pain, improve immune function, reduce stress, support effective digestion and breathing and diminish premenstrual symptoms, just to name a few benefits.
Bonnie Augustine from A Peaceful Path talked with event-goers about how natural techniques can be a huge benefit to someone who is going through breast cancer or has gone through breast cancer.
“There are natural therapeutic techniques that may assist in the healing of the body and spirit in any phase of breast cancer,” Augustine said.
Augustine recommends meditation, calming teas, Reiki, acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy, sound meditation, crystal therapy and reflexology.
“All of these modalities are known to reduce stress and reducing stress is important for someone who is a survivor of breast cancer or has just been diagnosed with breast cancer,” Augustine added.
The American Cancer Society recommends women ages 35-40 receive a baseline mammogram and then an annual mammogram every year after the age of 40. According to the ACS, breast exams should be done by a women’s physician as part of the annual health exam. Women should begin doing self-breast exams in their 20s.
SRMC and the Outpatient Diagnostic Center are also holding Moonlight Mammograms every Tuesday and Thursday in October.
During Thursday’s brunch, participants could sign up and schedule their mammograms.
The event, Cairney said, will provide annual screening mammograms at a cost, but allow women to come out after normal business hours to fit their schedules. Appointments must be made and are still available. To schedule your appointment, call 910-592-2689 and select option 1. Please have insurance information on hand when scheduling your appointment.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.