SAMC kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness Month Oct. 3 with a Pink Ribbon ceremony on the front lawn of the Women’s Center parking deck.
Those in attendance heard a message of hope from 5-time cancer survivor Linda Dianne Daniels, first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998. She has since developed cancers of the colon, neck and spine, lower back and bone.
“Cancer is not a death sentence,” she said. “If you’ve just been diagnosed, please do not have a pity party. Don’t give up.”
Daniels praised the physicians and staff at SAMC, saying they are caring and make her feel secure.
She encourages women to get tested. “Early detection is key. When I got started with treatment the technology wasn’t as great as it is now. There are so many new and improved methods of treatment.”
Diane Buntyn, vice president of Patient Care Services, told survivors there is hope for all patients diagnosed with cancer.
CEO Ron Owen said acknowledging Breast Cancer Awareness Month has two purposes. “First, we recognize those of you who have survived and we remember those who have lost their battles with this disease.”
Radiation oncologist Dr. Steve Stokes said more than 1,000 cancer patients are treated each year at SAMC, with about 250 of those being breast cancer patients. He said the cure rate has increased from 63 percent to more than 90 percent.
Dr. Stokes commented on the recent affiliation with UAB, saying having access to clinical trials and other research improves care for local patients. For many, it can also eliminate their having to travel to Birmingham for treatments.
Dr. Stokes will present a Chat with the Doctor program at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24 in the 7th floor Conference Room of the Doctors Building. He will speak on treatment options after a breast cancer diagnosis.