Power of Pink - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Power of Pink

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Monique Griffith is one of several ladies who took advantage of the free "Women's Health Day" at Baptist Hospital.

"I really couldn't afford for the screenings you know if I had to pay for it myself, but this is a privilege for me to come out, Griffith told WLBT.

Various procedures like blood pressure checks, bone density tests and total cholesterol and glucose screenings were available without charge.  Women were also shown how to perform self breast exams and encouraged to learn about breast cancer.

"I've had a couple of friend girls that have passed over the years early in age and I'm young myself, but I wanted to learn more about breast cancer," said Griffith.

Breast cancer statistics in Mississippi don't paint the brightest picture.

"Breast cancer is the number one cancer diagnosis in Mississippi, but more women in Mississippi die from breast cancer than the nationwide statistics," said Dr. Barbie Sullivan, the Medical Director for Women's Services at Baptist.

Dr. Sullivan said there's a reason why the stats are so devastating for the Magnolia State.

"What that tells you is likely women are being diagnosed later and that's where the importance of the mammograms comes in," said Dr. Sullivan.

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 226,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the end of 2012. Research shows that breast cancer risks increase with age and family history. The earlier you're diagnosed, the better your chances are for survival.

"It's important that you sit down with your physician and talk about family history because it may be you need to start mammograms before the age of 40," said Dr. Sullivan

At the age of 31, Griffith is doing what she has to do now to protect her later.

It's happening earlier in age and I just wanted to come out and take heed to it and learn more about it," said Griffith.

To learn more about getting a mammogram, you can call the Baptist Breast Center at 601-973-3180. Also, Baptist has a program called "Fund for the Girls." It provides free mammograms and breast care services for women who cannot afford the medical care. For more information go to http://fundforthegirls.com/.


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