Students receive information on healthy living and cancer prevention
Judy Macon, a health specialist at Suburban Hospital, led the event, which is titled "Check It Out." The program visits 25 to 30 public and private high schools in Montgomery County every year, according to Ora Dawedeit, a Suburban Hospital worker and program assistant, and emphasizes breast self-examination (BSE), healthy dieting, regular exercise and not smoking as ways to more effectively prevent cancer, a disease many women must face in life. "One out of every eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime," said Macon. "[Therefore,] it is likely someone you know [or] love will develop breast cancer." According to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, 250,000 women under age 40 are currently living with breast cancer, and this year alone, 10,000 young women under the age of 40 will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Mary Livingston, a surviving breast cancer patient, was a featured guest at the assembly as she spoke about her eight-year-long struggle with cancer.
"You have to be the person to take care of your body," said Livingston, who discovered she had cancer by doing BSE. Livingston, whose original tumor was only half a centimeter in diameter, eventually decided to have a mastectomy (surgery conducted to remove the breast) because of the presence of breast cancer in her family history.
Students at the assembly also watched the informational video "Check It Out," which featured reporter Stacey Sager and other teenagers discussing the importance of BSE, of visiting the doctor on a regular basis and of knowing one's body and family history.
"Check It Out" evaluation forms received at the assembly may be turned in to the health room, room 140, through next week.
For more information on breast cancer and prevention, visit the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation or the Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America.
Caitlin Garlow. Caitlin is a second-semester senior at last. Her favorite things include making fun of her homeless sister and hunting down her clothes in other people's closets. More »