Residents can take steps to guard against cancer Thursday when University Heath Care System holds two events in Columbia County.
University's mobile mammography unit will be parked at Patriots Park, located at 5445 Columbia Road in Grovetown, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The service is designed for women 40 and older who have not had their annual breast screenings.
A mammogram can detect breast cancer before a woman develops any symptoms, said Pam Anderson, a registered nurse and program coordinator for Cancer Services at University Hospital.
"That's the key," she said. "If you can find it on a mammogram, you've found it at the very earliest stage."
The mammogram takes about 10 minutes and is covered by insurance. In addition, a booth will be set up with information on breast-health education and the importance of early detection.
It will be hard for women to miss the 41-foot-long mobile van, which underwent a complete overhaul this summer.
Vibrant coloring is now displayed on the van's exterior, while new hardwood floors, furniture and digital equipment outfit the van's interior, Anderson said.
"We put a lot more pink (on the van's exterior)," she said. "We put faces of women all a little bit different, because breast cancer can affect anybody. (The van is) much more striking than the other one."
One aspect of the van remains the same. Written across the side, the hospital's motto on breast cancer still reads: "Your time is valuable. Your life is priceless. A mammogram can save your life."
Appointments are required and can be made by calling (868) 774-4141.
Also, a free seminar on colon cancer will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday at Savannah Rapids Pavilion.
In honor of Colon Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Barry Jenkins, a colorectal surgeon at University Hospital, will discuss colon cancer and the importance of screenings.
People should begin colonoscopies at age 50, or earlier if they have a family history of colon cancer, Anderson said. Screenings every 10 years are recommended .
"We just need to remind everybody that colon cancer can be prevented," Anderson said. "Most people don't think they need to have this done."
Dinner will be served, and reservations are required. They can be made by calling (866) 591-2502 or online at www.universityhealth.org/calendar.
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