Breast cancer is not gender specific.
That's why the Carbon County Commissioners, on Thursday, adopted two resolutions in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
During the meeting, the board adopted a resolution adopting October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month; as well as a second resolution naming the third week of October as Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week.
Judy Veron, postage coordinator in the Carbon County Commissioners office and a two-year breast cancer survivor, accepted the first resolution.
It read, "The month of October has been set aside as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to educate women on the importance of early detection of breast cancer ... It is the most common cancer in women in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer death in women, with an estimated 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer expected to be diagnosed among women in the U.S. this year and an estimated 40,000 women are expected to die from the disease in 2010 alone.
"The observance affords women the opportunity to become more educated on this deadly form of cancer ... Therefore the members of the Carbon County Board of Commissioners do hereby proclaim October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and urge all women and their families in Carbon County to get the facts about mammography" and early detection.
Veron thanked the board members, who were wearing the breast cancer awareness ties she gave them last week, for their action and introduced the medical personnel who helped her beat her cancer. With her included Barbara Porambo and Anita Hiles of St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital Radiology Department, who detected Veron's breast cancer; Lois Richards, director of radiology at Blue Mountain Health System, where Veron had a sentinel node biopsy performed before her mastectomy; and Dr. Michael Martinez of Carbon Surgical Associates and Blue Mountain Health System, the doctor who performed her surgery.
Following Veron's introduction, Martinez addressed the board.
"I'm proud of the work here locally at Blue Mountain," he said. "I think we provide the highest levels of care and I think Judy is living proof of that."
He noted that he is grateful for the administration's dedication and commitment to making sure Blue Mountain Health System has the top of the line breast cancer treatment technology. Most recently, Blue Mountain has obtained a new MRI that can further evaluate the women who have breast cancer and also can help surgeons do MRI-guided breast biopsies.
Richards added that Blue Mountain Health System also is offering free mammograms through a grant the hospital received. These free mammograms are available to women who are uninsured or underinsured.
Following the first resolution presentation, the commissioners presented a second resolution to attorney K. Tucker Landon about the importance for men to get checked for breast cancer as well.
The resolution states, "Each year around 450 men will die of the disease and the numbers are increasing. Men are typically diagnosed at a late state due to the lack of awareness that men can also develop this disease. It behooves all of us, men and women, parents and siblings, co-workers and friends, educators and health care workers, to save lives by promoting awareness that men can develop breast cancer. Therefore in remembrance of the men who have lost their lives, or are fighting for their lives, due to a lack of knowledge about breast cancer being gender neutral, we the members of the Carbon County Board of Commissioners do hereby designate the third week of October as Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week in Carbon County."
Landon handed the board a packet of information on male breast cancer and how to check for it, and said that she wore black to the meeting in remembrance of the men who lost their battles with breast cancer.