SALAMANCA – Breast cancer survivors and representatives of the Susan G. Komen Western New York Affiliate will present breast health information at three Cattaraugus County libraries this fall during a program titled “Are You at Risk for Breast Cancer?”
The first presentation is set for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Salamanca Public Library at 155 Wildwood Ave., Salamanca. Light refreshments will be served, and door prizes will be distributed. For information on the event, which is free and open to the public, call 945-1890.
“The two most common risk factors associated with breast cancer are being a woman and getting older,” according to Komen Grants Administrator Natalie Weil.
To help people determine whether they are at risk, speakers will address additional risk factors for breast cancer, the importance of early detection by proper screening, knowing what is “normal” for an individual, and ways people can reduce their risk for the disease.
One speaker, Rosemary Laughlin, is a 10-year survivor. As a registered nurse who earned a doctorate in epidemiology, the study of the cause of diseases, she worked on breast cancer research studies for more than 20 years. The Women’s Health Initiative study is the landmark study that linked hormone replacement therapy to an increased risk of breast cancer.
For the last five years, Ms. Laughlin has also managed the Buffalo site of an international study related to the use of a drug to prevent breast cancer in women who have never been diagnosed with the disease. Since retiring recently, she has enjoyed traveling and volunteering at Equistar, a therapeutic riding center.
The other speaker, Bridget Hallock, is a disease intervention specialist for the New York State Department of Health, providing partner services to individuals who test positive for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. Her breast cancer diagnosis in 2009 has motivated her to get educated about breast cancer, become involved in finding a cure, show concern for other young women at risk, and help to spread the Komen message. She lives in Buffalo with her children Margaret and Matthew.
Their presentations are supported by funding awarded to the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Western New York Affiliate, for a project called “Empowered by Information: Libraries help Cattaraugus County Address Breast Cancer.”
The next program will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at the Olean Public Library at 134 North Second Street, Olean, with speakers Lesley Hoag and Patricia Stewart. For information, call 372-0200.
The final presentation will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22, at the King Memorial Library, 9538 Route 16, in Machias, with speakers June Brennan and Amy Benjamin. For information, call 353-9915.
In addition to supporting programming at the three library locations, the Komen Western New York Affiliate enabled each Cattaraugus County library to add a collection of books and DVDs about breast cancer. Free breast cancer education information was also provided to all members of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System for use during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
According to Patricia Johnson, outreach coordinator for the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System, library displays will increase the information people have available to them about breast cancer, and the programs will enable attendees to receive inspiration and support in person from a trained Komen ambassador.