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September 20, 2011 > October Is the Time to Think Pink

October Is the Time to Think Pink

Popular Women's Center Event Features Demos, Screenings and Physician Q&A

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It also is an excellent opportunity to get answers to important women's health questions during the Washington Women's Center's "Think Pink: Quilting Together a Better Life" event on Thursday, Oct. 13.

The special event will take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the Tent Atrium at Washington West, located at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont. Attendees are invited to wear pink and join in an evening of educational lectures, booths, health screenings and fun activities.

This year's quilting theme reflects the diversity of women as well as the many facets of their lives, according to Women's Center Clinical Coordinator Kathy Hesser, R.N.

"I think the quilt symbolizes women and the fact that women come in all colors, sizes and backgrounds," she explains. "Also, the act of quilting in itself brings together a lot of little pieces to make a beautiful quilt, just as this event will bring together all the little pieces women need to make a healthy life."

The quilt also is literally represented at the Washington Women's Center, she points out. A beautiful "quilt" of colored glass is on display in the Women's Center, which has inspired one the activities that will take place during the event.

"This year we have cardstock in the shape of a quilt square, as well as paper and stickers so that attendees can make their own quilt square for our display board, which will hang in the lobby of Washington West during the month of October to celebrate breast health," Hesser says.

Last year's event was very well attended and Hesser expects as many as 200 participants this year. Physician speakers and topics will include:
* Update: Washington Women's Center and Breast Health Support, presented by William E. Dugoni Jr., M.D., Surgeon, Medical Director, Washington Women's Center, Washington Hospital Medical Staff
* Oncoplastic Breast Surgery: New Techniques for Better Outcomes, presented by Andrea French, M.D., Surgeon, Washington Hospital Medical Staff
* California Breast Cancer Research Program, presented by Marion H. E. Kavanaugh-Lynch M.D., M.P.H. Director, California Breast Cancer Research Program

The event will also feature radiologists, surgeons and oncologists from the Women's Center's breast health team, who will be available to talk to attendees about breast health, something Hesser says was very popular last year.

"I found that people actually went to each table, visited all the booths and asked questions," she says. "We had breast health literature and that went right away. Plus, attendees really enjoyed being able to speak with some of the mammogram staff and the doctors. It was a great, great event last year, and we hope to repeat the positive feedback we received last year!"

In addition, the event also will feature:
* Nurses from the Washington On Wheels (W.O.W.) Mobile Health Clinic, who will be performing osteoporosis and blood pressure screenings
* Staff members from the hospital's Laboratory Department, who will offer blood sugar and cholesterol screening
* Members of the Maternal/Child Education Department, who will talk about the benefits of breastfeeding
* Registered dietitians, who will give out healthy food recipes, as well as healthy samples for people to taste
* Bras for Body & Soul and other image enhancement programs and services for women undergoing breast cancer treatment
* An American Cancer Society representative available to answer questions
* Upper back and hand massages from the center's licensed massage therapy staff
* Gentle yoga demonstrations
* Light refreshments
* Question and answer with the physician speakers

The focus on breast health is very simple, according to Hesser. Only very recently-in the last 20 to 30 years-has breast health really become acceptable to address in public, which is part of the reason why the Women's Center puts on events like Think Pink.

"Mammograms are only 40 years old," she says. "And usually when women were diagnosed before screening came about, the cancer had spread all through your body, so the survival rate wasn't there. Then, once we started mammograms and women-even some famous women-started talking about fighting breast cancer and giving money toward research, the message became, 'We don't want to die from breast cancer.'

"Still, even today, people don't know about the anatomy of the breast and what's normal in texture and appearance. Any lack of knowledge is worrisome, so it's great for people attending Think Pink to be able to talk with professionals who deal with this subject everyday and learn about research and treatments."

Hesser encourages women of all ages-in fact all members of the community-to come learn more about breast health and how to quilt together a better, healthier life.

Think breast health

To register for the upcoming "Think Pink: Quilting Together a Better Life", visit, search Upcoming Seminar and click on the event link or call (800) 963-7070.

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