EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
According to the American Cancer Society, a woman has a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer at some point in her life. In 2018, an estimated 40,920 women will die from breast cancer. Team Edwards is banding together to fight to reduce those numbers.
Team Edwards members participated in a Breast Cancer Awareness Health Fair and 5k Run/Walk on Edwards Air Force Base, California, Oct. 23. The aim of the event was to increase breast cancer awareness, said Capt. Coral Pettit, 412th Medical Group Health Care Integrator.
Pettit helped organized the event and said it has both a professional and personal impact for her. One of Pettit’s grandmothers died of breast cancer after going into 20-plus year remission following an initial diagnosis.
“It’s personal in that sense to me, but it’s also just very important as my job,” Pettit said. “I do a lot of preventative outreach and we have a difficulty at our medical group in getting our women to get those mammograms, so it’s important to get awareness out there.”
The health fair at Edwards not only promoted breast cancer awareness, but it also promoted awareness in pediatrics, diet and other cancers. The 5k run/walk itself stressed the importance of physical activity. The ACS claims that studies suggest that women who partake in regular physical activity have a 10-25 percent lower risk of breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society recommends exams and screenings as early detection ensures a higher chance of surviving breast cancer. The fair stressed the importance of early screenings and self-exams, said Julianne Caberto, a women’s health registered nurse with the 412th Medical Group Clinic.
“We’re promoting self-breast exams and cervical cancer screenings that help catch disease early in women so they have a better chance of surviving,” she said. “It’s good because lots of people don’t like to come to the doctor for preventative screenings, they like to come to them when they’re sick, or if they have knee pain; so it’s good to get people out here to start seeing how important preventive and maintenance exams are, rather than just waiting until something’s wrong. A lot of the time, that’s too late.”