Book sale one way to help women dealing with breast cancer

Posted March 20, 2012, at 10:55 a.m.

Got books? If you are anything like me you’ve got a bookshelf full of them collecting dust and taking up valuable real estate in your house. Books are meant to be shared, and now is the perfect opportunity for you to do some spring cleaning while supporting a great organization by donating your old volumes to Caring Connections for their Book Sale.

Caring Connections is a program of the Bangor Y and Eastern Maine Medical Center that provides no-cost breast and cervical health services to uninsured women and support to women with breast cancer. As is the case with all nonprofit agencies, fundraising is vital to this organization’s sustainability. You can be sure your books will go to a good home while helping this worthy cause.

Breast cancer affects all of us. You probably know someone who has suffered with this disease. Statistics show that one in eight women by age 80 will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has looked at the research and has devised four steps that all women should practice.

First off, know your risk. Just being a woman is your number one risk factor for breast cancer, and as you get older that risk increases.

“So many women believe that because there is no family history of breast cancer, they don’t need to worry about it, but that is just not true,” said Robin Long, assistant director of Caring Connections. “However, if you do have a family history of breast cancer, tell your health care provider and discuss any other risk factors you have.”

Secondly, get screened.

There is more than one screening technique so ask your provider which one is right for you. For women with an average risk factor who has no symptoms, an annual mammogram starting at age 40 is important, as is a clinical breast exam performed by the medical provider at a yearly physical. When cancer is found confined to the breast, the 5 year survival rate is now 98 percent.

Third, know what is normal for you.

All women are different and what is normal for one is abnormal for another so a monthly breast self-exam can help you become familiar with your own body and notice if anything is unusual. Signs of breast cancer can include unusual lumps, swelling, a change in the size or shape of the breast, dimpling or puckering or a discharge or rash around the nipple. It is important to note that any of these changes are most likely to be caused by something other than breast cancer, it is still important to have anything unusual checked out as soon as possible.

Fourth, live a healthy lifestyle.

Maintain a healthy weight, limit alcohol and get plenty of exercise.

And come to the Caring Connections Book Sale at the Bangor Y Spring Fair, March 30 – April 1 at the Bangor Auditorium. Take part in their silent auction and enjoy the popcorn bar with a delicious selection of flavors to please any palate.

If you have books, DVDs, CDs and audio books that you’d like to donate, call 941-2808 ext 337 or 338 or email careconn@bangory.org to make arrangements for drop off or pick up.

Love Italian food? Fascinated by the culture? Dream of going to Italy to experience the wine, the scenery, the romance? Collette Vacations is presenting another “Discover Tuscany” at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, March 22, at the EAAA offices.

View a beautiful presentation of this extraordinary locale and enjoy delicious refreshments with an Italian flair. Highlights of the presentation include Rome, Assisi, Winery Tour and Florence. Rich in history, taking a visual tour of Tuscany can chase away the winter doldrums.

Space is limited so call EAAA at 941-2865 to reserve your spot.

Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging.

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