By Kyle LoJacono
For the second straight year Sister Stroll for a Cure will help raise awareness of breast cancer while supporting Florida Hospital Zephyrhills’ effort to build a new treatment facility.
The event, which is free and open to the public, is from 8 to about 10:30 a.m. at the hospital’s fitness trail in front of the facility, 7050 Gall Blvd. in Zephyrhills. Participants will walk the trail from 9-10 a.m. to support anyone facing the disease or to honor those who have died from breast cancer.
“Getting awareness out about the disease is very important,” said Dr. Danielle Albritton. “With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month we get a lot more women coming in to get checked out and that’s critically important.”
Albritton said it is recommended that women start getting breast examinations from their doctor after age 20 and start getting mammograms regularly around age 40. She added anyone who has a history of breast cancer in their family, especially close relatives, should discuss it with their doctors as soon as possible.
Albritton added there are several ways to decrease the risk of developing breast cancer, which include: not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, decreasing stress, exercising regularly, keeping weight at a healthy level and reducing the amount of fat, sugar and salt in someone’s diet.
Albritton has been with Medical Group of Tampa, partners with the Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, for the last seven years and is based out of Dade City. While Albritton works more to prevent breast cancer, and all diseases for that matter, Dr. Kim Apple, also with the medical group, performs surgeries to remove the tumors.
Apple has been performing the surgeries at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills for three years and will participate in the stroll this year.
“I wanted to get into treating breast cancer because I get a lot of gratification helping women with the disease,” Apple said. “It’s very emotional even to speak about breast cancer and I really enjoy being able to help women make the right decision about treatment.”
About 1 percent of men contract the disease, according to Apple, but early dedication is much less common. She said if a man discovers a lump in the chest wall he should get it checked as soon as possible.
Apple said new technology allows for minimally invasive biopsies that allow patients to heal more quickly. If a lump is cancerous she performs either a lumpectomy, which removes just the tumor and surrounding tissue, or a mastectomy, which removes the whole breast. She added the most important thing in cancer treatment is detecting it early.
“That reduces the amount of spreading that can happen,” Apple said. “Events like the Sister Stroll can help the community not only become aware of breast cancer, but it also helps those with the disease know there are people thinking of them.”
At the stroll, health practitioners will be available to answer questions about breast cancer. There will also be a raffle at 10 a.m. with refreshments.
Denotations will also be collected at the event to raise money for Florida Hospital Zephyrhills’ future Breast Center. The stroll raised $2,500 last year.
In addition, the hospital is offering mammograms for $49 throughout the month. The full amount must be paid for at the time of service and can be done at both the hospital and at Florida Hospital Imaging of Wesley Chapel. To schedule a mammogram, call (813) 783-8378.