Flamingos ‘Flock the Lawn’ in the Pee Dee for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 6:42 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and MUSC Health Florence and Marion Medical Center have decided to help raise awareness in a special way.

Both medical centers have set up hundreds of flamingos on the front lawn of each hospital representing breast cancer survivors.

Volunteers and staff members assembled dozens of Flamingos reminding women to get their annual exams to help detect anything that might be cancerous early which could save your life.

MUSC Mammographer, Becky Martin stresses the importance of yearly mammograms and early detection.

“You should get one every two years after the age of 40 but even though the guidelines says two years after 65,” said Martin. “I think it’s very important to get one every year. We see people as they get older still get breast cancer. I think it’s very important to get them every year.

American Cancer Society statistics show about 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Skipping or delaying annual mammograms can lead to cancer developing stronger.

“If you skip a year, that’s one year we could’ve caught something sooner,” said Martin. “That’s why I think it’s important to get one every year.”

According to the ACS, Breast Cancer is the second leading cause of death for women and in 2022, approximately 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer cases are thought to be a result directly of gene changes passed on from a parent.

“If you have a mother or sister, who had breast cancer, it does increase the risk,” said Martin. “In that case, you should start getting your mammogram. If your mother was 45 when she was diagnosed, you should start around 35 getting your mammograms.”

MUSC said self-checks are also an important way to detect changes to your breasts, such as lumps, pains or changes to the size and skin.