Breast cancer was selected by The Medical Center Cancer Committee as the 2016 primary community outreach prevention program. Breast cancer remains one of the top three cancers in the area. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breast cancer is the most common cancer for American women second to skin cancer.

Per the American Cancer Society, there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer — but there are ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer and increase the likelihood that it is diagnosed and treated early. By choosing a healthier lifestyle, people can reduce their risk. Some of the controllable risk factors that increase a person’s risk of developing breast cancer include being overweight, lack of exercise, smoking cigarettes and eating unhealthy food.

2016 Accomplishments

Obesity continues to be one of the top five health issues for Southcentral Kentucky according to the 2014 Community Health Needs Assessment. Per the CDC, nearly one third of U.S. adults are obese and the same statistics hold true for Kentucky. State of Obesity shows that in 2015 18.5% of Kentucky high school students were obese. Kentucky Health Facts show that in 2011, 28% of Warren County adults did not get enough physical activity.

The Cancer Committee identified the need for education on the importance of physical activity and good nutrition in addition to maintaining a healthy weight to reduce the risk of cancer based on area statistics and Cycle 2 of the Community Health Needs Assessment. Education was provided to school age children on the importance of good nutrition and healthy lifestyles through programs such as the 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go program. This program encourages children to consume five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, have two hours or less screen time, engage in one hour of physical activity and consume zero sugar-sweetened beverages. The 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go education program was provided to 1,120 elementary aged school children.

Through The Medical Center’s Medical Nutrition Therapy and Surgical Weight Loss programs, registered dietitians used the American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention to educate 47 women and 67 female children/teens on the importance of good nutrition and physical activity to prevent breast cancer.

The Medical Center chose to use the WellNews publication to increase awareness on the importance of mammograms for early breast cancer detection. “Mammograms Save Lives” was published in the Summer 2016 edition of the WellNews. This publication circulates to over 50,000 homes in the area.