Fighting cancer is an every day task

Published 12:44am Saturday, October 6, 2012

Many people may associate the month of October as the time to celebrate breast cancer awareness, and while it is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the fight against breast cancer is an everyday battle.

“There are so many people who are thinking of October as that month to get those mammograms done,” Bridget Mills, community representative for the American Cancer Society said. “But if you associate it more with your month of birth, I’m sure it’s a lot less busy in those offices, and it would be easier for them to get you in.”

ACS has a website service that reminds women when to get their annual mammogram. “They can go in and enter their name and their date of birth and it gets put into a database. The first day of the month of their birthday it sends them a friendly reminder, because it’s so much easier to remember to have that annual mammogram as you’re celebrating your birthday,” Mills said.

That website is acs.p.delivery.net/m/p/acs/rem/breast-cancer-screening-mammogram-reminder.asp.

“Getting that early detection allows us to celebrate more birthdays, and that’s part of being healthy,” Mills added.

ACS has other resources to offer breast cancer patients including free information to help make treatment decisions and 24/7 access to trained counselors through 1-800-227-2345.

Mills said last year ACS received 153 calls from Dallas County, and of those calls 61 received some sort of service.

“You’d be surprised just how many (calls) we do have,” Mills said. “Those calls can happen at two or three o’clock in the morning, when patients are most vulnerable.”

Mills explained that cancer patients receive so much information, “it’s in the wee hours of the morning when things start to hit you. Things start sinking in and family members are in the bed, or maybe even at greater distances and you don’t want to wake them. So in the middle of the night, if you’re experiencing physical symptoms or even emotional or mental systems, you can call.”

Callers will be met by trained professionals that will help them understand what their body is experiencing, and give them tips on how to counter those experiences, or sometimes just listen to them, Mills said.

The service callers receive can range from a transportation grant, which would assist patients in traveling to appointments greater than a 50-mile radius from their home, to receiving a packet, which could include detailed information about their type of cancer.

The number, Mills stressed, is not only for cancer patients but for caretakers and family members as well.

“Caregivers play such a critical role in the wellness and care of cancer patients, so these caretakers can call the number and [find out more information].”

These are resources that are available every day of every month, not just the month in which America celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness.

To find out more about the services and resources ACS has for cancer patients visit www.cancer.org.

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