Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Statistics indicate that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime. The stage at which breast cancer is detected influences a woman’s chance of survival. If detected early (localized stage), the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and physicians and staff at Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare encourage women to practice breast self awareness, minimizing the chances of breast cancer and detecting a diagnosis sooner.

  • Know your risk – Talk to both sides of your family to learn about your family health history, and consult your doctor about your personal risk of breast cancer.
  • Get screened – Talk with your doctor about what screening tests are right for you if you are at a higher risk, and get a mammogram every year beginning at age 40 if you are at average risk. Women under 40 years should have a clinical breast exam at least every three years, beginning at age 20.
  • Know what is normal for you – Consult with your doctor if you begin to noticeabnormal changes in your breasts.

To commemorate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Del Sol Medical Center hosted a balloon release ceremony to honor patients and survivors. White balloons were released to honor patients who have lost their lives to breast cancer, and pink balloons were released to celebrate the lives of those who have survived.

During the event, Del Sol Medical Center also hosted a send-off for long-distance runner Oleus Lilly, who started his nearly 800-mile run from El Paso to Longview at the hospital. He will end his journey in honor of breast cancer patients, including his grandmother whom he lost in 2007, on Nov. 1. For more information about Oleus’ run, visit his Facebook page.

To schedule a mammogram and/or to learn more about the importance of breast screenings, please contact Del Sol Women’s Health Center at (915) 593-5108 or Las Palmas Women’s Health Center at (915) 521-1200.

El Diario recently featured Del Sol Medical Center’s balloon release ceremony and long-distance runner Oleus Lilly’s journey. Read the story here.