The annual Breast Cancer Awareness luncheon was held Monday at the First United Methodist Church in Williamson by the Williamson Women’s Club.
The guest speaker was Dr. Angel Justice of Williamson Appalachian Regional Hospital. Justice is a Pike County native, a graduate of Feds Creek High School and Pikeville College and the West Virginia Osteopathic School of Medicine.
She told the group in attendance about the importance of getting mammograms every year after the age of 40. In certain high risk patients, a screening MRI is recommended beginning at the age of 30.
Dr. Justice said that there are 226,870 new cases each year for females and 2,190 for male patients. She said that men can get breast cancer too. Each year an average of 39, 510 women die of breast cancer and about 410 males die of the disease.
“Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States,” Dr. Justice said. She said there were several risk factors and that one in eight women will be diagnosed with cancer of the breast during their lifetime.
Dr. Justice said that early detection is very important in the fight against breast cancer.
The welcome at the luncheon was given by Dana Wright. The Women’s Club president, Leigh Ann Ray, served as master of ceremonies.
The breast cancer survivors in attendance were asked to stand and be recognized. Mingo County Commissioner John Mark Hubbard read a proclamation by the county stating that October will be Breast Cancer Awareness month. Williamson Mayor Darrin McCormick gave a brief welcome and some opening remarks.
Longtime Mingo County Health Department nurse Bernice Johnson also spoke to those in attendance. She was followed by Brenda Harlow, a cancer specialist from Huntington. Harlow mentioned Nancy Johnson, a former employee at the health department, who recently lost her battle with cancer.
Harlow also announced that the annual fund raising walk will be held on Saturday, October 13, starting at 12 noon at the Williamson Field House. Registration starts at 11 a.m. and the walk will go from West End to the Righteous Brew Coffee Shop in downtown Williamson.
The candle lighting ceremony was performed by Margaret Pinson, while Ann Lipps and Youla Spano were chosen to do the annual hanging of the wreath. The wreath will be taken to the Mingo County Courthouse and it will hang there during October.