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Yes MAMM! By G. Strand B


e bold. That’s the recommendation of Detroit’s First Lady Yvette Bing who urged women to do something a little differently this year in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Encourage men to have an annual mammography screening.


“This is a very important day and a very important month,” said Bing during the POH Riley Foundation’s 4th Annual Sister &


Sister Health and Education Day. “Breast cancer is something that affects everyone here, and not just women. Men can also develop breast cancer, but sometimes they are too embarrassed to have a mammogram screening. As wives, girlfriends, sisters and mothers, we also have to encourage our men to have annual exams because they can have breast cancer just like women can.”


Sister & Sister Health and Education Day was held October 1, 2011 at POH Regional Medical Center in Pontiac. The event


was organized in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by the Sister & Sister Planning Committee, of which Bing serves as chairwoman.


Nearly 100 people attended the free event. Free mammogram vouchers were provided to everyone in attendance. Blue


Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Molina Healthcare of Michigan and OmniCare served as event sponsors. Self-Awareness is Key


“If you feel something unusual, go to get it checked out,” said Dr. Lewis A. Jones, Jr., the event’s keynote speaker and Director of Breast Imaging at Ingham Regional Medical Center. “Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. Don’t say it’s probably nothing. No one knows your body better than you. So you know when something is not right.”


A complete examination is critical, according to Jones. “You cannot conduct a physical exam without


touching the full breast area,” Jones said. “Not only should your doctor examine your breasts, he or she should also examine the arm pit and above the collar bone while you are lying down and sitting up.”


Dr. Lewis A. Jones Jr., Director


Free Mamms The Sister & Sister Free Mammogram Program was established in 2007 to provide free mammogram


of


Breast Imaging at Ingham Regional Medical Center, shows women the proper technique for conducting a self-breast exam while wearing a breast vest.


screenings to underserved women in Oakland County. To qualify for the program, women must be un- insured or underinsured; 40 years of age and older, or under 40 years of age with a family history of breast cancer; a resident of Oakland County; or present a physician’s referral.


“When we started this program, we were thinking we’d give out 100 free mammograms,” said Teresa A.


Rodges, Executive Director of the POH Riley Foundation and founder of the Sister & Sister Free Mammogram Program. “But we’ve given out over 2,000 mammogram screenings. We at POH feel that all women should have access to state-of-the-art healthcare. That is our goal, to continue providing this vital service to the women in our community who need it most.”


Sheila Kirkendolph of Pontiac attended the


event. She has been coming to POH Region- al Medical Center to have her mammogram screenings for 20 years. Her sister is a breast cancer survivor of 26 years.


“My sister was diagnosed with breast


cancer in her 30s,” Kirkendolph said. “I know I’m at risk, so I am checked annually. This is a free service, and it’s sad to see that more people don’t take advantage of it. There’s no excuse. POH will even send you a re- minder. That’s one of the things I like most about the program.”


Yvette Bing, First Lady of the City of Detroit and Chair of the Sister & Sister Planning Committee, urges men to have mammogram screen- ings.


Editor’s Note: To learn more about the Sister & Sister Free Mammogram Program, call 248-338-5385 or visit www.pohregional.org. To schedule a free mammogram screening, call 248-338-5608.


LivingWELL • October 2011 11 LivingWELL • August 2011 11


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