One of the scariest diagnoses a woman will ever hear is “You’ve got breast cancer.”
The National Cancer Institute estimates that 231,840 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 40,290 will die. Excluding skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Statistics show that one in eight women, about 12 percent, will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County issued a health advisory after receiving confirmation of the first human case of West Nile virus in the county this year in August. Since July, 39 sentinel chickens have tested positive for West Nile Virus in Pinellas County.
Sentinel chickens serve as an early-warning detection system for some mosquito-borne diseases and can signal the fact that mosquitoes carrying the diseases are present in the area. Sentinel chickens are kept in eight locations in the county and tested weekly.
Pinellas County Mosquito Control confirmed the most recent positive tests in five chickens Oct. 7. Positive tests have been confirmed since July in chickens located in Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, Oldsmar, Clearwater, Palm Harbor and Seminole.
PINELLAS PARK - Say "boo" to the flu at the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County's Flu Boo II clinic that will provide flu shots at no cost on Wednesday, Oct. 28, in Pinellas Park.
From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (or until supplies are gone), DOH-Pinellas staff and volunteers will provide flu vaccines at no charge at its Pinellas Park facility, 6350 76th Ave. N.
Participants can remain in their cars while they get their flu shot at the drive-through or come inside the building's clinic area. This is the second annual Flu Boo event that DOH-Pinellas has held at the Pinellas Park location.
REDINGTON BEACH - A local breast cancer surgeon says good things are happening in the treatment of the disease, and the outlook keeps getting better with time.
Redington Beach resident Dr. Kay Shawchuck, 55, said since she became a surgeon in 1993, things have changed radically in the field.
“When I finished studying, breast cancer surgery wasn’t a surgery at all; it was labeled under general surgery,” she said. “Within three years, it became its own specialty, and I focused only on the breast.”
Did you know that only 20 percent of patients diagnosed with breast cancer ever know that reconstruction is an option and that it is covered by their insurance? And of those, only 20 percent opt to have reconstruction?
Every October, plastic surgeons across the country promote BRA Day, or Breast Cancer Reconstruction Day, in order to raise awareness about breast reconstruction. Iconique Plastic Surgery in Clearwater will host its third annual BRA Day celebration Wednesday, Oct. 21.
LARGO - Getting the news that you have cancer is bad enough, but realizing the cost of fighting the disease can be devastating.
Lifting the feeling of financial hopelessness is something the group Women with Purpose is all about. The group, founded by Jane Morse-Swett, is dedicated to raising money to help cancer patients pay their bills when they miss work and lose other sources of income.
Morse-Swett realized there was a need several years ago. She and her husband, Michael Morse, moved around from Brazil to Germany and Spain as teachers for more than 20 years. When her husband died, Morse-Swett moved back to Florida and got a job at the Gulf Coast Oncology Clinic. It was there she discovered the special needs of cancer patients.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since its inception in 1985, it has been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer issues.
Over the years, as the national dialogue about breast cancer has evolved, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month has continually improved its ability to get its message across to the widest possible audience and enhance the impact in the community.
At the same time, NBCAM recognizes that although many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment, there remains much to be accomplished.
LARGO - Quality standards and exclusive rankings earn Largo Medical Center a spot in the 2015 Best Hospital edition of U.S. News & World Report. The hospital is recognized for implementing the latest research-based treatment guidelines for patients through the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines program. Get With The Guidelines is a hospital-based quality improvement program created to ensure hospitals consistently care for heart and stroke patients using the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations.
During 2015, the care that Largo Medical Center’s staff provides was recognized with:
- Gold Plus for Quality Achievement in Heart Failure
ST. PETERSBURG - Northside Hospital has been recognized for implementing the latest research-based treatment guidelines for heart attack patients through the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline quality improvement program.
The hospital has also been recognized for implementing the latest research-based treatment guidelines for stroke patients through the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke quality improvement program.
Northside Hospital, a Gold Plus Receiving level recipient, is among 341 U.S. hospitals receiving Mission: Lifeline awards this year, and among 915 hospitals receiving the Get With the Guidelines-Stroke award this year. More than 1,700 hospitals received awards for their achievements in heart, stroke and resuscitation care. All recipients are featured in a special advertisement in the August issue of U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals.”
Three months. Ninety days. More than 2,160 hours. For a new mom, that time can go by in the blink of an eye and it can crawl like traffic on I-275 at quitting time. And it can do it both at the same time.
Motherhood. It’s a club I’ve always wanted to join. And I’ve discovered the rewards of membership far outweigh their dues.
In the early hours of June 10, after almost 10 months of waiting and planning and hoping, three days of early labor and 23 hours of active labor, my little piece of perfection made his grand entrance into this world. It was a moment of instant clarity and intense love for me. Here he was - 6 pounds of slimy, squirmy awesomeness, complete with a full head of his daddy’s hair and my button nose.