White Plains hospital kicked off plans to "paint the town pink" Tuesday, unveiling a list of planned activities to increase breast cancer awareness at the steps of the hospital's Dickstein Center.
A group of cancer survivors, business representatives and hospital leaders gathered beneath a two-story tall pink ribbon at the center's entrance for the announcement. During October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the hospital will distribute decals for businesses and sell T-shirts advocating breast cancer awareness. Events are also planned at various locations throughout the month.
"October is just a heightened awareness of breast cancer early detection," said Dawn French, vice president of marketing and publications for White Plains Hospital. "We thought it was the perfect timing to make a bigger impact and a stronger message."
Awareness and early detection are critical for anyone diagnosed with breast cancer. French said on average, one in eight women will be diagnosed with cancer. Improved awareness and treatments have led to an improved survival rate over the last decade.
"Breast cancer death rates have decreased significantly over the past decade, which can be largely attributed to early detection," French said. "Doctors will tell you that if breast cancer is found at an early stage, your survival chances go up."
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Among the events and activities planned for this month is a pink wall at the Westchester Mall where people can post a sticker in support of someone affected by breast cancer.
White Plains Hospital in particular has expanded its cancer treatment center over the last few years, supporting more clinical trials and recently hiring a person in charge of helping people deal with their emotions after being diagnosed with cancer.
"As always, we remain committed to our patients, providing state of the art, accessible, compassionate care," said Marc Gordan, chief of surgery at White Plains Hospital and chairmen of the cancer committee.
Upcoming Events from White Plains Hospital:
- Author and television personality Dr. Erika Schwartz will lead a discussion at Bloomingdale's on Oct. 18 from 6 to 7 p.m. The discussion will feature four White Plains physicians who are experts in breast cancer. The $25 cost of the event will be refunded in the form of a gift card to the store's "beauty bar".
- Also on Oct. 18, WPH Clinical Navigator and Physician Assistant Danielle Gagner will present "Breast Cancer 101" and discuss the latest findings in breast cancer research and treatment options. The free lecture will take place at the White Plains Recreation and Parks Community Center on Mitchell Pl. at 5 p.m.
- The hospital will be co-hosting a breast cancer health expo and fashion show at the Westchester Mall on Saturday Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- T-shirts will also be available at the hospital's gift shop at the Westchester Mall throughout the month with all proceeds benefiting the hospital's cancer treatment center.