Breast Cancer Awareness Month Kickoff Stresses Early Detection, Screenings

Somerville, NJ (October 6, 2015) Somerset County Freeholder Deputy Director Patricia L. Walsh joined Zufall Health in Somerville (formerly Women’s Health & Counseling Center), and the Regional Chronic Disease Coalition of Somerset and Morris Counties (RCDC) in kicking off the 12th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month today. 

Zufall Health Chief Operating Officer Fran Palm officiated. Freeholder Walsh presented a proclamation recognizing October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and offered brief remarks.

Dr. Kathleen Toomey of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset spoke about the importance of early detection and the latest improvements in treatment. Dr. Toomey is a board certified hematologist and oncologist.

Breast cancer survivors Cindy Fierst of Bound Brook and Marianne McCallen of Somerville shared their personal journey with the disease and spoke about the importance of support systems.

Several members of the RCDC of Somerset and Morris counties were available to talk with participants and provide literature and valuable resources.

The goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to stress the importance of early detection and screenings and inform the public about the many resources and services available to residents of Somerset County.

“On the national level, the number of deaths attributed to breast cancer continues to decrease,” said Freeholder Walsh. “Here in Somerset County, the incidence rate for female breast cancer is still slightly higher than on the national level, which makes this campaign all the more personal for our county, and for me as a woman and someone in the health care profession.

“We all probably know someone who has had breast cancer and most likely know someone who will have it in the future. That is why we have to do a better job of getting our loved ones to take action and go for screenings,” she said. “What a tragedy it is to lose a loved one who waited too long to go for a screening.”

The 2015 breast cancer awareness event is sponsored by Zufall Health, the New Jersey Cancer Education & Early Detection (CEED) program, the RCDC of Somerset and Morris Counties and partners.

The RCDC and NJCEED programs are made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Department of Health, Office of Cancer Control and Prevention to the Somerset County Public Health & Safety Department and Zufall Health, respectively.

For more information and a listing of programs throughout the counties, to join the Coalition or learn more about available educational and screening resources, contact RCDC Public Health Coordinator Lucille Y-Talbot at (908) 203-6077 or ytalbot@co.somerset.nj.us.

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