ENCOREplus touts Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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In light of Breast Cancer Awareness Month a St. Joseph organization has been hosting events to promote breast health.

The YWCA’s ENCOREplus program provides free breast cancer prevention information in northwest Missouri. Martha Brookshier is the ENCOREplus program coordinator, she said throughout October they have been trying to promote breast cancer awareness.

“We host three events at the YWCA for Breast Cancer Awareness,” Brookshier said. “Breast cancer is a reality and we want to prevent it as much as possible.”

So far, the agency has held a Pink Tea Luncheon and Ladies Night Out. The last event of the month, Celebracion Rosa will be held Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the YWCA. Brookshier said the event is to celebrate the Latino women in the community. She said ENCOREplus focuses on the importance of breast health throughout the year, not just October.

“We connect women and men to resources to help them get mammograms, clinical breast exams. If they need treatment beyond that we help them find resources so they can get the necessary treatment,” Brookshier said. “We work with uninsured, underinsured, minorities, the Hispanic community. They can call our office, we can set them up.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year in the United States, about 237,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,100 in men. Around 41,000 women and 450 men in the U.S. die each year from breast cancer. Brooshier said nationwide around 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. In northwest Missouri, she said those numbers used to be higher prior to the formation of the ENCOREplus program in 1994.

“Because we’ve had the breast cancer outreach program and we’re getting out in the community and educating women and even men about the importance of breast health then the numbers have actually decreased over the years,” Brooshier said. “The earlier the detection the higher chance of survival.”

CLICK HERE for more information on the YWCA’s ENCOREplus program or call (816) 232-4481.