County recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Ed Howell
Posted 10/2/17

The Walker County Commission presided over a balloon release and passed a resolution Monday, all to mark October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

An outdoor ceremony on the steps of the Walker …

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County recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month


The Walker County Commission presided over a balloon release and passed a resolution Monday, all to mark October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

An outdoor ceremony on the steps of the Walker County Courthouse was brief and windy, with the balloons all swept to the west as a group.

Earlier, with the commission chambers decorated in pink in honor of the month, Chairman Jerry Bishop read the resolution, which said the American Cancer Society reports breast cancer is the second largest cause of cancer deaths among women. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

“According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide,” Bishop read from the resolution.

The resolution also said 252,700 new cases are diagnosed among women each year in U.S., and 40,500 will die from the disease each year.

However, 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are in the U.S. due to early detection, through screening, increased awareness and treatment, the resolution said. The commission urged in the document for citizens to seek early detection screening on a regular basis.

Gretel Holston of Jasper — who was accompanied by Jan Price, Eva Oates and Margie Robbins, all of Jasper — thanked the commission for the resolution.

“We want to stress this is no longer a disease just for women,” she said, noting it affects men as well.

The American Cancer Society says on its website that estimates for 2017 indicate about 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed for men in the U.S.

Also, an estimated 460 men in the nation will die from breast cancer this year.

In cooperation with Capstone Rural Health, Spirit Nights will be held during the month to get educational materials to the public, she said.

The events will be held from 6 until 9 p.m. Oct. 9 at Los Reyes, followed by Johnny Brusco’s on Oct. 16 and Warehouse 319 on Oct. 23.

District 1 Commissioner Keith Davis prayed in opening the meeting for the cancer survivors present and for those still battling cancer, as well as the medical personnel helping them.

He later said during the commission comment section of the agenda that his wife had a cancer scare last year, which resulted in having a biopsy done.

It was not cancerous, although he noted she has “another little issue” that she is having to see the doctor about now.

Even though he said she has not gone through the level of problem that the cancer survivors in the audience had, Davis said it is still a “scarey situation,” and that he would pray for them.

District 2 Commissioner Jeff Burrough said he lost his father at an early age to cancer.

He asked that people lift up others going through the disease.

He congratulated the women and said he would be praying for them.

Chairman Jerry Bishop agreed with the comments at the end of the meeting.

“I lost both of my parents, who never got to see their grandkids with this terrible disease,” he said, thanking the cancer survivors for trying to make for a better future.

Stamps on sale to fight breast cancer

In a related matter, Melissa Lane, a clerk for the Jasper Post Office, said post offices throughout the county and the nation are selling their breast cancer stamps to raise money for breast cancer research.

Lane, who is helping with the event for the local post office, said a book of 20 breast cancer awareness stamps normally sells for $9.80.

However, in October one can come by the Jasper Post Office to purchase a booklet for $12. The extra $2.20 will all go for research, with no administrative cost.

Nationwide, a total of $86 million has been raised for breast cancer research since 1998, with 1 billion stamps sold, according to the U.S. Postal Service in a 2016 release.

The distribution of the Postal Service contribution is specified by law, with 70 percent given to the National Institutes of Health and the remainder to the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.