Pink Ribbon Ceremony Begins Breast Cancer Awareness Month

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 UTAH) - 11,000 Utah women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone.  That's why St. Mark's Hospital started its pink ribbon tieing ceremony 21 years ago to honor the the victims and the survivors.
 
Bretta Beal ties her pink ribbon to a tree right outside women's services at St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City.
she does it because of four close relatives.
 
"I have a mom who had breast cancer and all three of her sisters.  And I have a cousin that had breast cancer very young," said Bretta Beal.
 
Bretta watched all four women battling the disease just praying for their recovery.
 
"It was pretty scary just wondering if it was going to happen to me or my girls or anyone else," said Beal.
 
Three out of the four are now in remission.  Early detection starts the fight against breast cancer.  Utah women rank the lowest in the nation for getting those life saving mammograms.
 
"Part of that reason is women are afraid of getting implants. We will not damage your implant. We will not damage your implant. We have very safe practices and we want to make sure you leave as you come," said St. Marks Hospital Executive Director of Women's Services Corbie Petersen.
 
Now relatively new technology will help with early detection.
 
"The 3D imaging can detect a change in the cells sooner than you can feel a lump in your breast and the sooner the better chance for survival," said Petersen. 
 
Petersen says in 2016, all insurance companies will pay for 3D imaging. If you have a family history like Bretta, doctors say best to talk to your physician, do self breast exams, and get genetic testing to determine your risk. 
 
"Breast cancer is no longer a death sentence," said Petersen.
 
In the month of October,  St. Mark's Hospital does 800 more mammograms than any other month.  If you get a mammorgram in the month of October you get a free gift. 
 
 
Next Saturday, you can join the "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk.  It starts at 10 am at Liberty Park.  All proceeds go to the local chapter of the American Cancer Society.
 

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