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September 28, 2010 > Think Pink Focuses on Breast Health

Think Pink Focuses on Breast Health

Fun-Filled Event Offers Information, Education and Support

The familiar pink ribbons send a powerful message about the need to prevent breast cancer and support breast cancer survivors. Washington Hospital's Think Pink event on October 14 gives local women a way to do just that.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a good time to focus on breast health. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women, according to the American Cancer Society. While it also strikes men, it is much more prevalent in women.

"Think Pink is a free event that offers women the latest information on breast care and other tips for leading a healthier life," said Kathy Hesser, RN, coordinator of the Washington Women's Center. "If you are a breast cancer survivor, consider Think Pink a celebration of life. Come and network with other women and learn how to stay healthy."

The event runs from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and will be held in the Tent Atrium at Washington West, located at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont. To register online, go to or call (800) 963-7070.

"The tent provides a very special setting for this event. The roof and one side are constructed from clear plastic, giving it an open, airy feel," Hesser said. "Think Pink will be both an informative and fun evening. Women can learn about their health while enjoying some light refreshments as well as fun activities and giveaways."

Navigating Uncertain Waters

The theme of Think Pink is "Breast Health: Navigating Uncertain Waters" because many women are confused about the controversial mammography guidelines issued last year suggesting routine mammograms should start at age 50, according to Hesser. Washington Hospital, however, is continuing to follow the American Cancer Society guidelines that call for routine mammograms starting at age 40, she said.

"We know women have a lot of questions about when to get a mammogram and how important the cancer screening is," she added. "A radiologist and surgeon will be available to answer your questions."

There will be a number of booths with information and resources that can help women make healthy choices and reduce their chances of getting breast cancer. Several local health organizations will also be on hand to answer questions and offer services, including the American Cancer Society and the Tri-City Health Center, which partners with Washington Hospital to make sure women without health insurance have access to mammograms.

Seminars Highlight Services and New Research

Three seminars are scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dr. William E. Dugoni Jr., a surgeon and medical director of the Washington Women's Center, will present "Update: Washington Women's Center and Breast Health Support." The seminar will provide an overview of breast health services available at the Washington Women's Center, a nationally accredited breast center.

Dr. Barbara Kostick, MD, medical director of Washington Hospital Community Services, will present "Can I Prevent Breast Cancer? New Research on Vitamin D." She will talk about some of the recent research on vitamin D and its ability to inhibit the growth of breast cancer tumors.

Kim Alvari, a registered dietitian at Washington Hospital, will present "Nutritious Foods for Breast Health." She will offer tips for healthy eating and discuss some of the foods that contain important nutrients women need.

Get the Message and a Massage

In addition to getting out the message about breast cancer prevention, Think Pink is designed to be a celebration where women can come together and enjoy a fun evening with activities like free five-minute massages, yoga demonstrations and raffle prizes. Those who wear pink will be entered into the drawing.

"The yoga demonstration will be a nice introduction to an activity that has so many health benefits," Hesser said. "It improves strength and flexibility, and helps to decrease stress."

Attendees will also be invited to decorate pink ribbons. "We'll have sequins, feathers, paint and other art supplies available," she said. "The pink ribbon celebrates survivorship. You might want to decorate one for yourself or for a sister or friend who survived breast cancer, or is going through it now. We will display them at the Women's Center during October."

For more information about the Washington Women's Center and breast health services offered by Washington Hospital, visit

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