Teens Learn Importance of Early Detection in Breast Cancer
Nearly 50 students at Cape Henlopen High School, and one mother, received free breast examinations from local medical professionals recently as part of the third annual KeepaBreast Event, which focuses on the importance of self-breast exams.
Although it is commonly recognized that older women should perform self-breast exams, it is important for young women to also do them. Beginning in their late teens to early 20s, women should check their breasts for small lumps every month. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, and the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in women in this country.
During the KeepaBreast Event, which took place at the high school campus, teens not only learned how to do self-breast examinations, but they received information about healthy living habits regarding diet and exercise. They also learned about skin cancer and the dangers of too much sun exposure. Their mothers and grandmothers also were invited to attend.
We were very happy with the turnout, said Peggy Gatti, nurse practitioner with the Cape Henlopen High School Wellness Center.
The event was co-sponsored by Beebe Medical Center and Biden Breast Health Initiative, an organization founded by Sen. Joe Biden's wife Jill Biden in 1993 to educate young women in Delaware about the importance of early detection in the fight against breast cancer.
Performing the breast exams were: Cape Wellness Center Medical Director Dr. Jeff Hawtof, a member of Beebe's medical staff, Dr. Nancy Gideon, a member of Beebe's medical staff, Dr. Susan Kelly, OB/GYN, a member of Beebe's medical staff, Ann Marie Stafford, a nurse midwife with Bayside Health, and Peggy Gratti.
A video presentation promoting healthy lifestyles was made possible through a grant from AstraZeneca. Companies that supported the event included Gold's Gym, AdSmart, Lewes Dairy and Danskin.
Cancer survivors Tia Clarke from Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Cindy Redefer of The Wellness Community, and Linda Spencer of AdSmart, were on hand to speak to the students about their personal experiences with cancer. Members of the Cape Henlopen High School Chest Club also volunteered. They were: Amanda Kotarba, Tara Hickerson, Natoria Hall, Jocelyn Reese, Alison Houchens, Sam Coveleski, Ladonna White, Karlissa Nelson, Melissa Class, and school nurse Dawn Pepchinski.
Other Beebe employees who took part were Wellness Center staff Mark Thalheimer and Marilyn White, Community Health Nurse Coordinator Kay Malone, RN, and Community Relations Specialist Nancy L. Cummings.