Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 3, 2021

Mel’s Club offers breast education for young women

The MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund at CHI Memorial Foundation is scheduling presentations for Mel’s Club, a breast health education program for teen and college-aged women.

Mel’s Club educates students in three key areas:

• Myths and misconceptions regarding breast cancer

• Facts, warning signs and prevention

• Training in how to do a breast self-exam.

Launched in 2014, Mel’s Club has educated thousands of girls in area schools on the importance of breast health beginning at an early age.

“We want young women to understand that being aware of their breast health is necessary, normal and natural,” says Cindy Pare, MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund coordinator. “Younger women tend to believe breast cancer is a disease for their moms or grandmothers. Through Mel’s Club, we encourage them to take control of their health as young adults.”

The program uses a curriculum developed by the Prevent Cancer Foundation in cooperation with the Howard University Cancer Center. A breast cancer survivor shares her personal story during the presentation.

Mel’s Club presentations are available for high school and college-aged young women in schools, church youth groups and community agencies. The program is usually taught in health, wellness and physical education classes in area schools.

While breast cancer statistically impacts older women at a higher rate, younger women are affected, as well. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women ages 15 to 39, according to national statistics.

About 12,000 women younger than 40 are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. In young women, the disease tends to be diagnosed in its later stages and be more aggressive.

Young women also have a higher mortality rate and higher risk of metastatic recurrence (return of breast cancer in areas beyond the breast).

To schedule a Mel’s Club presentation, contact Pare at Cynthia_Pare@memorial.org or 423 495-4124.

Source: CHI Memorial