St. Mary’s Hospital wrapping babies in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

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DECATUR – To show awareness for the over 9,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital is wrapping babies in pink blankets.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and St. Mary’s is encouraging the community to learn more about the disease. Chief Nursing Officer of St. Mary’s, Michelle Oliver says during the month of October, all babies born in the hospital will be wrapped in pink blankets to raise awareness for breast cancer.

“We want new parents to discuss the importance of breast cancer screenings with their loved ones, and this is a great opportunity to do so,” Oliver explains.

In addition to the pink blankets, St. Mary’s Hospital is offering these tips in regards to breast cancer screening and prevention:

  1. Breast cancer symptoms can include a lump in the breast or underarm, swelling of the breast, irritation of breast skin, redness, pain in the breast, changes in the shape or size of the breast or discharge from the nipple.
  2. Mammograms are recommended biennially after the age of 50 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer. Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. Women should always speak with their primary care provider before they go in for a screening.
  3. Screening for breast cancer can be done at a clinic, hospital or doctor’s office. If you are concerned about cost, you can contact the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program at 888-522-1282 or visit www.cancerscreening.illinois.gov to find out about free or low-cost mammograms.
  4. Lowering your risk for breast cancer can be done by keeping a healthy weight, exercising regularly, getting a full night’s rest and limiting alcohol consumption. Sharing your family history with your doctor also helps with early detection.

Those wanting to know more about breast health and breast cancer screenings should speak with their doctor or visit St. Mary’s website to find one.

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